A former West Midlands Police officer would have been dismissed at a misconduct hearing today (21/01) had he not already resigned.

The former constable was granted anonymity at the hearing, chaired by Chief Constable Dave Thompson, to protect innocent people associated with him. He was found to have shared chat and an indecent image of a child, with a man who has since been convicted of child sex offences. The nature of the chat that accompanied the image was sexual and indicative of someone who has a sexual interest in children.

The neighbourhood officer, who served for 20 years, was investigated by West Mercia Police who referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service and a decision was made not to prosecute.

Following the criminal investigation, West Midlands Police Professional Standards Department commissioned a further investigation of the officer’s conduct which indicated an active sexual interest in underage teenage girls.

Mr Thompson found the actions of the former officer, who resigned in December, had amounted to gross misconduct and declared that he would have been dismissed without notice had he not already resigned.

Mr Thompson said: “It is totally unimaginable that someone who has behaved in this way could remain as a police officer.

“He has brought great shame on the police and there are no mitigating factors.”

The former officer, who did not attend the hearing, will also be barred from being employed or appointed by a police force or other specified law enforcement body for a minimum of five years.