'˜Sexting' Blackpool cop dismissed for gross misconduct
A Blackpool police officer who '˜sexted' fellow officers on duty, ignored emergency calls and was involved in the running of a business selling soiled underwear online has been dismissed for gross misconduct.
PC Julian Berry, a traffic officer based at Blackpool Police Station, was suspended from duty in June last year when the allegations first came to light.
A misconduct hearing, at Leyland Police Station, found that on 13 occasions between 2005 and 2015, PC Julian Berry breached Lancashire Police’s standards of professional behaviour.
The hearing heard how PC Berry had sent sexually explicit images to fellow officers while on duty and had made a number of unwanted sexual advances to women, both police staff and members of the public.
Representing Lancashire Police at the hearing Oliver Williamson said PC Berry had:
- Failed to acknowledge two emergency calls while on duty in Blackpool, remaining parked in his patrol car outside night clubs where he was seen speaking with women
- Send images of himself in his underwear and of his exposed privates to a special constable while on duty.
- Driven away from his allocated area while on duty to visit a PC with whom he was having a sexual relationship
- Sent messages in which he admitted being asleep on the M55
- Made repeated unwanted advances to a Blackpool taxi firm employee
- Made sexual advances to a Blackpool police communications worker
- Made unwanted advances by email to a married police communications worker
- Made sexually explicit remarks to a coffee shop worker
- Gave a lift home in a marked police car to a woman he had contacted through a website
- Sent messages to his wife discussing details of a business in which worn underwear was sold online
Lancashire Constabulary’s Head of Professional Standards, Det Supt Sam Mackenzie, said: “The hearing has found that PC Berry’s behaviour while on duty and while he should have been serving the public of Lancashire was wholly unacceptable.
“Conduct of this type not only undermines the trust and confidence of the communities of Lancashire in our officers and staff, but the police service as a whole.
“I am very sorry for any harm that this conduct has caused and I apologise to those people on behalf of the Constabulary.
“The vast majority of our officers and staff take pride in working for the police service and do a fantastic job every day serving our communities, some of whom are extremely vulnerable when we come into contact with them. Behaviour such as that shown by PC Berry does not only let the public down but undermines all those committed officers and staff trying to serve the public to the best of their ability.
“I would also like to express my sincere thanks to those people who have come forward and reported these matters, it can take courage to come forward and report issues such as these, but I hope the public can see that when they do we will not shy away from dealing with them.
“The public quite rightly expect us to maintain the highest standards of professional behaviour and we are committed to ensuring this.
“Conduct such as that of PC Berry is hugely disappointing and we will continue to take action whenever the behaviour of our staff falls below those high standards.”
PC Berry, who did not attend, when requested, interviews with professional standards officers, did not attend the hearing and made no attempt to deny the allegations made has 10 working days to appeal the decision.
His wife was cautioned, under the postal services act, in December last year