Hertfordshire Constabulary officer who sexually exploited a cadet over a number of years is jailed following IOPC investigation

Published: 15 Dec 2020

Hertfordshire Constabulary officer Michael Grigg, 34, has today (Tuesday, 15 December) been sentenced to six and a half years in prison after being convicted at Harrow Crown Court on Friday (11 December) of two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

His victim had been in a police cadet programme while Police Sergeant Grigg was a cadet leader and contact involved sexual activity at cadet meetings. Evidence was heard in court of sexual activity on a cadet holiday and at the officer’s home address.

During the course of the investigation, which was managed by the IOPC but carried out by Hertfordshire Constabulary, shortcomings were exposed in the management of police cadet records which led us to make both local and national learning recommendations to better protect young people in the future.

We recommended that all police forces should keep records of all cadets enlisted in their volunteer cadet programme, and cadet leaders, if they do not do so already. It is recommended these records should be kept centrally by someone who has responsibility for overseeing the cadet programme and there should not be a reliance on records stored locally by cadet leaders.

We also recommended the records should be kept for an appropriate period of time after cadets and cadets’ leaders have left the programme, to ensure that any potential safeguarding issues identified at a later date can be dealt with appropriately. We have also stated that the retention of data must also comply with relevant data protection legislation.

The National Police Chief’s Council accepted our recommendations in full, incorporating them into the national volunteer police cadet continuous improvement framework and in May wrote to all 43 forces in England and Wales advising of the changes.

The Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins MP, was informed of the recommendations and will receive an update next year regarding the implementation of the identified learning.

Hertfordshire Constabulary also accepted our recommendations and implemented changes.

Regional Director Graham Beesley said:

“Sexual exploitation of young people is an abhorrent crime. PS Grigg’s conviction is a powerful reminder that no one is above the law, however authoritative they may appear to their victim.

“All police officers have an obligation to safeguard young people. This case was a shocking example of predatory behaviour, and an abuse of trust and position that no police officer or member of the public would condone. Such behaviour amounts to serious corruption and those who abuse their position for sexual purpose and exploit young people have no place in policing.

“Our investigation also exposed shortcomings in how records were kept posing a risk to the way cadets were being safeguarded. The recommendations have been accepted and rolled out to forces nationally, driving practice changes across 43 forces in England and Wales which will ensure young people in the cadet programme are better protected.

“We are committed to ensuring methodical and meticulous investigations are carried out into allegations of this nature. As this was managed investigation it enabled us to use Hertfordshire Constabulary’s officers to obtain key witness statements which proved vital in securing the best possible evidence against the officer.”

The IOPC also carried out a separate independent investigation into allegations the same officer may have misconducted himself by having inappropriate online communication with a member of the public, including whilst he was on duty. This investigation does not relate to the officer’s involvement in the police cadet programme, nor does it relate to anyone the officer met during the course of his work. Our independent investigation concluded in May 2020 and he now faces gross misconduct proceedings.

*Notes to editors:

Managed investigations were replaced by an IOPC directed investigation. A directed investigation is an IOPC investigation which is carried out using police resources. The IOPC sets the terms of reference for the investigation and directs the course of enquiries. At the end of the investigation the police investigator submits a report to the IOPC in order for decisions to be made about the outcome of the investigation.

  • Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Corruption and abuse of power