Former MPS officer who kissed drug dealer committed gross misconduct

A former Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct after attempting to form a relationship with a vulnerable woman he had arrested for dealing drugs.

Oct 3, 2019
By Tony Thompson

Police Constable Hitesh Patel, who was based at Stoke Newington, arrested the woman in August 2016 and obtained her telephone number after she returned to the police station to be charged the following month.

Telephone records showed he used his personal phone on 17 occasions to contact her while he was on and off-duty. The woman was sentenced in December for the drug offences and PC Patel contacted her a further 13 times until the end of February 2017.

PC Patel had taken the woman to lunch on the day of her sentencing hearing and then gave her a lift home. While there he had kissed her without her consent.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) revealed PC Patel had lied to a colleague about how and when he obtained the woman’s telephone number and had also accessed the woman’s records without any policing purpose.

A misconduct hearing last week found PC Patel breached the standards of professional behaviour for authority, respect and courtesy, honesty and integrity, discreditable conduct and confidentiality.

PC Patel resigned from the force ahead of the hearing, but the panel deemed his actions amounted to gross misconduct and he would have been dismissed if still employed. He will be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “PC Patel clearly and persistently abused his position in an attempt to pursue a relationship with a vulnerable woman. Such was the effect on the woman PC Patel pursued that during the course of our thorough year-long investigation she was so fearful of reprisals that she did not feel able to provide a formal statement.

“This was a terrible betrayal of his role; it undermines public confidence and this sort of predatory behaviour has no place in policing. It serves only to undermine the hard work and endeavour of the vast majority of serving police officers who are equally outraged by this conduct. I am pleased that the independent panel has reinforced the message that this sort of behaviour by police officers is never acceptable.”

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