Cleveland Police officer who groped woman is sacked

A Cleveland Police officer has been sacked for groping a woman arrested on suspicion of shoplifting.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry concluded the 36-year-old constable "acted without honesty and integrity".

The incident occurred in August 2011, after the woman had been arrested in Stockton-on-Tees and taken to the town's police station.

At a disciplinary hearing the officer was sacked for gross misconduct.

Cleveland Police said the officer was initially arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, but was later released without charge and the matter referred to the IPCC.

An IPCC spokesman said: "This officer acted in a completely inappropriate way to a woman who was in his custody.

'Sexual gratification'

"His behaviour implied he would assist the woman only if she accepted his sexual advances. Such behaviour is reprehensible and it is correct he has been dismissed.

"The IPCC recently highlighted the issue of officers abusing their power for sexual gratification and, regrettably, this is another example.

"Such behaviour appears to be used to target those who are vulnerable and it is a fundamental betrayal of trust."

A Cleveland Police spokesman added: "An internal disciplinary hearing upheld the allegation of sexual touching, and found the officer had abused his position as a police officer, acted without honesty and integrity and behaved unprofessionally.

"He was immediately dismissed from the force."

Last week, the force's chief constable Sean Price became the first of his rank to be sacked in 35 years, after a lengthy investigation found he lied about his role in the recruitment of the former police authority chairman's daughter.

The force remains at the centre of a criminal investigation into alleged fraud and corruption.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites