A Leicestershire Police officer has been given a final written warning after a gross misconduct panel heard he had formed inappropriate relationships with two women he met during the course of his duties.
The outcome follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Detective Constable Darryl Hart, aged 41, was investigated following allegations that he had formed an improper relationship with a woman he had previously dealt with when she reported domestic abuse in 2015. The relationship developed in November 2016 and continued until late in 2018 when a referral was made to us by the force.
Further allegations were made in June last year (2019) that the officer had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with another woman, who had been the victim of a sexual crime.
The force agreed with our conclusion that the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
After a three-day disciplinary hearing organised by Leicestershire Police, which finished on Friday (11 December), an independently chaired panel found some of the allegations against him proven. DC Hart was found to have breached professional standards of integrity, authority respect and courtesy, and discreditable conduct.
IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “The officer abused his position of trust to form improper relationships with two women.
“In one instance, while the panel accepted there had been a policing purpose during the officer’s initial contact with the woman, he later failed to maintain a professional boundary by developing a personal relationship with her. Similarly, he crossed that boundary while communicating via Facebook with another woman in circumstances when he ought to have known better.
“The panel’s decision shows this behaviour is unacceptable and is taken seriously, with significant repercussions.”
During our investigation, which was completed in April this year, we reviewed mobile phone data, interviewed the officer and also gathered and reviewed statements from police and independent witnesses.