PCSO who sent sexually explicit messages to teenage boy sacked
A police community support officer (PCSO) who sent sexually explicit messages and videos to a teenage boy has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct.
The Sussex Police officer had contacted the 16-year-old boy through the Grindr dating app.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the PCSO know knew the boy was vulnerable due to his age and previous contact with the force as a regular missing person.
An investigation by the IOPC found that between September 2020 and February 2021 the PCSO had “inappropriate and sexual communication” with the teenager.
“The Sussex Police employee sent the boy a number of sexually explicit messages, including videos of him masturbating,” said the IOPC.
Its investigation found the PCSO had also formed an “inappropriate relationship” with a man between February and December 2020.
“Our investigation began in February 2021 and established that the Sussex Police employee had formed an inappropriate relationship with a man, whom he had met through the course of his community liaison duties at a café within his policing are,” said the IOPC.
“We found evidence that the PCSO used derogatory and discriminatory language against various LGBT groups in messages that he had sent on WhatsApp to the man.
“We also found that the PCSO agreed to obtain and sell Kamagra, an unauthorised medical product, to the man after he had asked the PCSO to obtain it on three separate occasions.”
The IOPC investigation concluded in October 2021, and foundthe PCSO had a case to answer for alleged breaches of the standards of professional behaviour in relation to honesty and integrity; instructions; discreditable conduct; authority, respect and courtesy; equality and diversity; and work and responsibilities.
A disciplinary panel decided that gross misconduct was proven.
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.”
A file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in October 2021 but it did not bring any charges.