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INVESTIGATION: Officer on final warning after sending inappropriate messages

INVESTIGATION: Officer on final warning after sending inappropriate messages

The Portishead HQ of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service and Avon and Somerset Police, Image: Stephen Sumner

A police officer who sent inappropriate and flirtatious messages to a woman he met while on duty has kept his job. 

PC Kenneth Brogan sent the woman more than 100 texts and WhatsApp messages during October 2020 as he pursued a relationship with her.

He continued even after she made clear she did not want further contact from the police, causing her stress and anxiety.

The officer, who was based at the Avon and Somerset Police HQ in Portishead, was handed a final written warning at a disciplinary hearing last week following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

David Ford, its regional director, said: “Cases such as these have the real potential to impact on public confidence in the police.

“At the outset of their service, it is made clear to officers that it is inappropriate to have or seek personal relationships with members of the public they meet through the course of their duties.

“Our investigation assessed more than 100 text and WhatsApp messages from the officer and formed the view that PC Brogan had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

“The police disciplinary panel decided that the officer’s actions breached standards of professional behaviour and, as a result, have given him a final written warning.”

Superintendent Jane Wigmore, the head of professional standards at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “We and our communities rightly expect our officers and staff to uphold the highest levels of integrity.

“Officers’ involvement with members of the public they meet during the course of their duty must remain professional. In cases such as this, where behaviour falls far short of our standards, we will hold them to account.

“A panel led by an independent, legally qualified chair imposed a final written warning sanction on finding that this officer breached standards of professional behaviour.

“We await the chair’s written outcome for the full findings, which will be published in due course.”

 

Words: Stephen Sumner, Local Demcoracy Reporter


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