Gross misconduct proven against a former Wiltshire Police officer who abused his position to target a vulnerable woman
A former Wiltshire Police officer would have been dismissed, had he still been serving, after gross misconduct was found proven at an accelerated misconduct hearing carried out by the force, following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Police Constable Christopher Grant resigned from the force last month (February). Our investigation began in September 2022 following a referral from Wiltshire Police about the conduct of the officer.
It was alleged that PC Grant had attempted to form a sexual/and or improper emotional relationship with a vulnerable woman, who he had met through the course of his duties in July 2022.
At a hearing carried out at Wiltshire Police headquarters before the Chief Constable today (Thursday), it was determined the former officer had breached standards of professional behaviour and would have been dismissed.
PC Grant had met the woman after she made an allegation of sexual assault against her partner in July 2022. PC Grant exchanged more than 2000 messages with the woman on his personal mobile number over a three-month period, some of a sexual nature. He also followed her on Tik ToK.
Our investigation assessed data from PC Grant’s personal mobile phone, where the many messages were found, which did not serve a legitimate policing purpose, were flirtatious and represented an effort by PC Grant to establish and maintain a relationship with the woman that was entirely unprofessional.
At the end of the investigation in January 2023, we found that PC Grant had a case to answer for gross misconduct following inappropriate contact with a vulnerable female.
Derrick Campbell, Regional Director for the IOPC said: “Police officers are expected to conduct themselves professionally at all times and are rightly held to certain standards when it comes to their interactions with members of the public.”
“The abuse of police powers for sexual purposes has a devastating impact on victims and is particularly serious where the subject of the officer’s behaviour is a vulnerable person.”
“Our independent investigation concluded that the officer in this case abused his position by actively pursuing an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable female member of the public.”
“Following an accelerated gross misconduct hearing, it was determined the force would have dismissed the officer without notice, had he still been serving, highlighting that behaviour of this type will not be tolerated in policing.”
Mr Grant will also be placed on the police barred list.