Former Greater Manchester Police PCSO who abused his position for a sexual purpose barred from policing
A former PCSO who formed or pursued inappropriate relationships with women he met while working for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been barred from policing following two investigations by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
An independently-chaired panel yesterday (23 August) found Mark Turner breached the police staff standards of professional behaviour with respect to: discreditable conduct; honesty and integrity; confidentiality; and instructions. The former PSCO had resigned from his post a day earlier but would have been dismissed were he still serving.
Our investigations concluded in March 2020, when we made the decision to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service. In June 2023, PCSO Turner was convicted of unauthorised access to computer material following a trial at Preston Crown Court.
We received a referral from GMP in December 2019 following an allegation the 38-year-old had abused his position for a sexual purpose. We began an independent investigation into the nature of his relationship with a woman he met in the course of his duties.
As a result of messages discovered during this investigation, GMP made a further referral in January 2020 containing allegations of inappropriate contact with three more women. Based on this information, we opened a second independent investigation into his conduct.
IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: “When police officers or staff abuse their position for a sexual purpose this is serious corruption – and it has absolutely no place in policing. Former PCSO Turner’s actions were an appalling breach of the trust placed in him by these women and the wider public.
“While not all of his contact with these women progressed to sexual messages, we found a deeply concerning pattern of behaviour. The contact started out innocent and friendly but where he saw an opportunity to take advantage of the situation for his own sexual gain, he took it.
“As a result of our independent investigations, he has now been barred from working in policing in future in addition to his criminal conviction earlier this year.”
Our investigations found sexualised messages between PCSO Turner and two women he met after they reported being a victim of crime. In both cases, there was evidence this progressed to a sexual relationship.
Messages also showed that PCSO Turner agreed to exchange sensitive information about a domestic incident in return for a sexual act from one of these women. He accessed police computer systems to view the log for the incident, which the woman was not involved in, and the jury at Preston Crown Court earlier this year found there was no policing purpose for him doing so.
Our investigations also looked at his contact with two other women he met in the course of his duties. In one case, we found he used his personal mobile to provide a crime reference number for an investigation where the woman was the victim of crime. He signed messages with an ‘x’ but there was no evidence of sexual or inappropriate language.
In the other, we found an exchange of messages that took place predominantly while PCSO Turner was on duty. They showed they made plans to meet up, although this never took place. While the messages were not sexual, the contact had no policing purpose and we considered it was inappropriate.
At the end of the investigation, we found PCSO Turner had a case to answer for gross misconduct and GMP arranged a misconduct hearing. The panel found the case proven and he would have been dismissed without notice if he hadn’t already resigned.