Shropshire Star

Police community officer who sent explicit videos to vulnerable teenager sacked

The officer was fired after the investigation proved gross misconduct against him on November 28.

Sussex Police sign on wall of Police and Coastguards offices, Rye Harbour

A Sussex Police officer who sent sexual messages and videos to a 16-year-old boy who he knew was a regular missing person has been sacked.

The police community support officer (PCSO) contacted the teenager through dating app Grindr for months and sent videos of himself masturbating, a police watchdog investigation found.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the officer knew the boy was vulnerable due to his age and previous contact with the force as a missing person.

The investigation also found the officer had sold unlicensed erectile dysfunction medication, Kamagra, to a man he met through his community liaison duties at a cafe and sent derogatory and discriminatory messages about LGBT+ groups to him.

The officer was fired after the investigation proved gross misconduct against him on November 28.

IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “Part of this PCSO’s job was to build trust and confidence in the police amongst LGBTQ+ people in Sussex.

“It is disgraceful that whilst in such a trusted role he sent sexually explicit material to a vulnerable teenager and bought unauthorised medication for another man. He also sent highly offensive derogatory messages to the man about parts of the LGBTQ+ community, conduct that was wholly unprofessional.

“I welcome the panel’s finding, which sends a robust message that this type of behaviour has no place in policing.”

The investigation took place between February and October 2021 and a disciplinary panel decided the case of gross misconduct was proven last week.

The watchdog also sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service at the end of the investigation but no charges were brought.

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