A Dyfed-Powys Police sergeant has been dismissed after engaging in a sexual relationship with a woman with vulnerabilities.
Karl Longhurst admitted engaging in sexual activity with the woman but tried to argue that this amounted to misconduct, not gross misconduct.
However, a misconduct hearing panel chaired by a legally-qualified chair, determined that Mr Longhurst’s behaviour had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour relating to Honesty & Integrity, Orders & Instructions, Authority, Respect & Courtesy, Duties & Responsibilities, and Discreditable Conduct & Confidentiality, and that it amounted to gross misconduct.
The hearing was told Mr Longhurst had been in a sexual relationship with a female member of the public and had continued to pursue this relationship following official police contact with her, despite her vulnerabilities.
He also failed to report the relationship to the force in accordance with force policy.
While the female was in custody Mr Longhurst made inappropriate sexual comments to her.
Mr Longhurst also inappropriately accessed confidential police records relating to the woman.
On becoming aware of the matter, the Professional Standards Department took immediate action and thereafter made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) who decided to undertake an independent investigation.
As well as being dismissed at today’s (10 November) hearing, Mr Longhurst will now be added to the College of Policing Barred List to prevent him from ever re-entering the police service.
Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “This result shows that Dyfed-Powys Police will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour.
“Dyfed-Powys Police expects the highest standards from all of its officers and staff and will ensure that members of the public can have complete trust and confidence in the force and its officers and staff.
“Where the conduct of officers and staff falls below our expected high standards, the public can be reassured that positive action will always be taken by the force.”