Police Officer “Abused His Position” to Maintain Relationships with Women He Met on Duty
A police officer abused his position to maintain inappropriate relationships with women he met in the line of duty, an internal misconduct panel found.
PC Norman Watson, who left the Leicestershire Police Department before his hearing took place this week, has entered into ’emotional and / or sexual relations’ with three women since the start of last year.
His actions came to light in August last year when the force, for which he had served for 13 years, examined his work phone and other devices.
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This revealed conversations between the officer and the women he had met in the course of his job.
He was suspended when his conduct came to light and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) was notified. The IOPC has released details of the case.
In messages to a woman he met in May last year following a death in his family, Pc Watson – who ended his messages with kisses – shared his personal phone number and l encouraged to use it, said IOPC.
He also told her that he wished he could “hug her” the first day they met.
Pc Watson has entered into a romantic relationship with a second woman whose daughter brought her concerns to the police following an alleged overdose in January this year, the police watchdog said.
The woman received Pc Watson’s phone number when she reached out to the force to thank him and a few weeks later the couple were in a romantic relationship which the officer kept a secret from his supervisors.
In text messages to a third woman, the officer used language deemed inappropriate, including the words “hun” and “honey”. Out of 300 text messages, 17 were deemed inappropriate, according to the IOPC.
It was also discovered that Pc Watson had accessed confidential police systems to obtain personal information about one of the women without “legal authority” while she was not on duty.
The allegations of serious misconduct against PC Watson were found to be proven in a hearing chaired by Police Chief Simon Cole at Force Headquarters in Enderby on Tuesday. (November 16)
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He concluded that he would have been immediately dismissed had he still been a serving officer.
Speaking after the hearing, Derrick Campbell, IOPC Regional Director, said: “Police officers are expected to meet certain standards in their interactions with members of the public and they are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. .
“The abuse of police powers for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a serious form of corruption.
“It has a devastating impact on victims and a serious impact on public confidence in individual officers and the service in general.
“It is important that effective systems are in place to promptly prevent, monitor and treat anyone who exploits this trust.
“Our independent investigation concluded that the officer in this case abused his position by actively pursuing inappropriate relationships with female members of the public.
“In doing so, he violated the standards of professional behavior of the police, betrayed a vulnerable woman and undermined public confidence in the police.
“Following an expedited serious misconduct hearing, it was determined that the force would have dismissed the officer without notice, if he was still on duty, which sends a clear message that such behavior did not no role in policing. “
Leicestershire Police also posted the result of the hearing on the force’s website, saying: ‘Following a misconduct hearing yesterday (November 16) the allegations have been proven and it has been determined that if former PC Norman Watson was still serving in the force, he would have been fired. “
Details of the case have been sent to the College of Policing, which maintains a “banned list” to prevent the return of the dismissed agents.
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