Police sergeant kicked out of force for sexual relationship with vulnerable woman

A police sergeant has been dismissed after engaging in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman and accessing confidential records relating to her.

Karl Longhurst, an officer for Dyfed-Powys Police, admitted engaging in sexual activity with the woman but tried to argue that this amounted to misconduct, not gross misconduct.

However, a misconduct hearing panel chaired by a legally-qualified chair determined that Mr Longhurst’s behaviour had breached the force's standards of professional behaviour and that it amounted to gross misconduct.

The hearing was told Mr Longhurst had been in a sexual relationship with a female member of the public and had continued to pursue this relationship following official police contact with her, despite her vulnerabilities.

He also failed to report the relationship to the force in accordance with force policy.

While the woman was in custody Mr Longhurst made inappropriate sexual comments to her.

Mr Longhurst also inappropriately accessed confidential police records relating to the woman.

On becoming aware of the matter, the Professional Standards Department took immediate action and thereafter made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) who decided to undertake an independent investigation.

As well as being dismissed at the hearing on Thursday, Mr Longhurst will be added to the College of Policing Barred List to prevent him from ever re-entering the police service.

Claire Parmenter, Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, said: “This result shows that Dyfed-Powys Police will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour.

“Dyfed-Powys Police expects the highest standards from all of its officers and staff and will ensure that members of the public can have complete trust and confidence in the force and its officers and staff.

“Where the conduct of officers and staff falls below our expected high standards, the public can be reassured that positive action will always be taken by the force.”

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