Officer sacked for abusing his position and sending Snapchat messages to 14-year-old
Jul 31, 2018
By Joe Shine

An officer who was accused of sending inappropriate Snapchat messages to a teenage girl has been dismissed without notice.  

Police Constable Ian Bell, of West Yorkshire Police, met the vulnerable 14-year-old while attending a children’s home following a report of a missing person in July 2017. 

He was accused at a two-day misconduct hearing in Wakefield of sending a series of inappropriate and unprofessional messages to her the day after they met. 

At first, the girl told staff at the children’s home that she thought she had a Snapchat stalker and did not know who was sending the messages.  

In the messages, PC Bell asked the girl if she takes drugs at parties, if she likes sex and made references to seeing her in a towel, the hearing was told. 

The officer, who has 23 years of service at West Yorkshire Police, admitted sending the messages while off-duty and drunk.  

However, he claimed he had messaged the girl to thank her for her help in the missing persons investigation and wanted to offer her advice. 

PC Bell accepted his actions amounted to misconduct but denied gross misconduct.   

Detective Chief Superintendent Oz Khan said: “The behaviour of this officer was quite simply unacceptable and completely at odds with the standards that we expect from our officers and staff. 

“While his actions did not meet the threshold for the Crown Prosecution Service to charge him with a criminal offence, it was quite right that we pursued a misconduct case against him and he has now been dismissed from the force. 

“Abuse of position for a sexual purpose is something that we take extremely seriously as an organisation and we have been raising awareness both internally and externally of this issue and encouraging people to report concerns.” 

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