Beds, Herts & Bucks

Thames Valley Police officer barred over sexual messages

Thames Valley Police sign
Image caption PC Andrew Fairhurst resigned from Thames Valley Police before the misconduct hearing

A police officer who engaged in "sexualised conversation" with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl has been barred from the profession.

PC Andrew Fairhurst of Thames Valley Police sent "inappropriate" messages to a covert officer who was posing as a young girl on the messaging app Kik.

The Taplow roads policing officer resigned from the force on 9 February.

At a misconduct hearing Chief Constable Francis Habgood said Fairhurst's actions amounted to gross misconduct.

The panel heard Fairhurst discussed kissing techniques and the types of women men like to have sex with in messages sent to the "girl" on 29 December.

He also talked about being naked in bed.

Image caption Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood, pictured, said officers were "expected to look after vulnerable people, including children"

Mr Habgood said the former officer "breached the standards of professional behaviour" and would have been dismissed from the force had he not resigned.

"Police officers are expected to look after vulnerable people, including children," he said.

The former officer, who joined the force in 2007, was arrested on 8 January on suspicion of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child.

In a police interview, Fairhurst admitted sending the messages but was released without charge.

The former officer did not attend the misconduct hearing at Thames Valley Police HQ in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, but was represented by a member of the police federation who said Fairhurst took "full responsibility" for his actions, which were "out of character".

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