Police professional | Ex-officer who ‘abused his position for sexual purposes’ with vulnerable women reportedly fired
Ex-officer who ‘abused his position for sexual purposes’ with vulnerable women reportedly fired
A former Cambridgeshire Constabulary officer who sent ‘naughty and sexualized messages’ to vulnerable women would have been fired without notice had he not already resigned, a misconduct committee has ruled.
October 7, 2022
By Paul Jacques
The panel heard that former police officer Michael Latimer abused his position to obtain confidential information about three women who occupied vulnerable positions, which he then used to ‘engage in sexually inappropriate behaviour’ between January and April 2020.
After a two-day hearing on Thursday, October 6, the independent panel found serious misconduct against the former police officer and said he would have been summarily dismissed from the force for “abusing of his position for sexual purposes”. ” if he was still in service.
The panel concluded that his actions breached standards of professional police behavior relating to integrity, respect for authority and courtesy, orders and instructions, confidentiality and disreputable conduct.
The decision follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Former PC Latimer, who did not attend the hearing, resigned from the force in 2020 during the IOPC Fund investigation.
The panel heard how, in each case, he began contacting and exchanging flirtatious or sexualized messages with the women, who were granted anonymity, after they were victims of crime. Two of the women were victims of domestic violence.
The IOPC Fund said before the hearing that the former officer admitted to abusing his position vis-à-vis one of the women and that he exchanged sexualized messages with another.
“He maintained that his contact with the third woman was innocent. However, the woman said she felt victimized by her actions,” the IOPC Fund said.
IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “By contacting vulnerable women, two of whom were victims of domestic violence, for sexual purposes after gaining access to confidential information about them, the former PC Latimer abused the trust and power placed in him as a police officer. .
“Inappropriate behavior like this has no place in policing and undermines public trust in policing.
“The panel decided that he would have been dismissed with immediate effect if he had still served and officers who chose to abuse their position and engage in this type of conduct should expect serious consequences.
“He will now be on the police ban list, which means he can no longer be employed by the police department.”
The IOPC said it began its investigation in May 2020 following a conduct of force referral.
Investigators obtained evidence of the former officer’s work and home phone, took witness statements and questioned him on criminal and misconduct bail.
“In June 2021, we concluded our investigation and found that the former officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct,” the IOPC Fund said. “We have also passed a dossier of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, who have decided not to proceed.”