The misconduct hearing was held at Dorset Police headquarters in Winfrith between 28 and 30 September to consider allegations that Police Constable Sean Ford breached the standards of professional behaviour of honesty and integrity, authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.
It was found that PC Ford had conducted an inappropriate sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman after taking a statement from her in connection with an investigation. He had known the woman previously for a number of years before this incident.
Prior to evidence being heard at the hearing, PC Ford accepted he had committed misconduct and admitted he had breached the standards of professional behaviour of authority, respect and courtesy, but denied that he had committed gross misconduct.
The legally qualified chair determined that PC Ford was guilty of gross misconduct and he was dismissed from the force. He will also now be placed on the national policing barred list.
Following the hearing, Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya, Dorset Police’s lead for professional standards, said: “Our officers are duty bound to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity at all times and it is very disappointing that an officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct.
“The public expect and deserve to have trust and confidence in their police force, so I hope the outcome of this case sends out a clear message to our officers, staff and to the public that we take misconduct very seriously and we will fully and robustly investigate anyone who is suspected of not conducting themselves in accordance with the standards expected.
“If you have any concerns in respect of any member of the organisation who is alleged to have failed to maintain the highest of standards and behaviour, we would encourage you to please report your concerns to Dorset Police so they can be thoroughly investigated.”
Anyone can report any concerns to Dorset Police by calling 101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively members of the public can contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – details of which can be found via their website www.policeconduct.gov.uk or anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or freephone 0800 555 111.
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