‘Unacceptable’ officer sacked for ‘exploiting’ vulnerable woman

An officer has been dismissed after engaging in “sexual activity” with a vulnerable member of the public he met while on duty.

Jan 29, 2018

An officer has been dismissed after engaging in “sexual activity” with a vulnerable member of the public he met while on duty. Police Constable Andrew Sweeney, 35, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, gave the woman a lift home and returned to her house shortly after his shift on the same day. Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said he had “fundamentally undermined the position of a police officer”. A misconduct panel, which took place on Thursday (January 25), was told Mr Sweeney had taken the woman home in a marked car on September 1, 2016. Phone numbers were exchanged during the journey and messages were sent between the two parties. Following his shift, he visited her home where “consensual sexual activity” took place. Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Dunn said: “PC Sweeney’s behaviour was totally unacceptable and it is quite right that he has been dismissed without notice. “He grossly breached the high standards of professional conduct and ethical behaviour that we and the public expect from the police service. “There is no place in Hertfordshire Constabulary for those who exploit vulnerable people, especially when we should be there to protect and support them.” Mr Lloyd added: “PC Andrew Sweeney’s behaviour brought the excellent reputation of Hertfordshire Constabulary into disrepute. He failed to live up to the high standards we rightly expect of our officers and broke the trust of a vulnerable person. He fundamentally undermined the position of police officer. “I welcome the decision of the panel and am pleased that the message from chief constable and deputy chief constable has been so clear: this conduct will not be tolerated and the constabulary will make sure that officers who break the rules are held to account for their behaviour. “I also welcome the fact that these hearings now take place in public, which demonstrates how seriously complaints against the police are taken and the firm action which is taken as a result.” PC Sweeney was dismissed without notice.

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