Sussex Police: Sex-on-duty officer dismissed

Brighton police station Image copyright Google
Image caption Insp Anthony Lumb was suspended by Sussex Police in March 2017

A police inspector who formed an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable woman has been dismissed for gross misconduct.

Sussex Police's Insp Anthony Lumb had sex with four women on duty, including one who said she felt "groomed" by him, a disciplinary panel heard.

The police officer of 27 years had sex with the women between 2012 and 2016.

He denied his actions amounted to gross misconduct and did not appear at the disciplinary hearing in Lewes.

Insp Lumb was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office in March 2017, but the case was dropped in October 2018 due to insufficient evidence.

James Berry told the panel at the force's headquarters that Insp Lumb would have known his conduct between 2012 and 2016 was unacceptable.

Mr Berry said: "It has been clear that it is inappropriate to engage in sexual activity with victims of crime, with people who they are engaged with in the course of their police duties and vulnerable persons."

'Effectively been groomed'

Nicola Brookes, who has waived her right to anonymity, met the policeman after being the victim of a disability hate crime, the panel was told.

Mr Berry said: "It is not alleged that Insp Lumb's contact was unwanted by Ms Brookes at the time, but her view is that on reflection she feels as if she has effectively been groomed because Insp Lumb took advantage of her situation and his position."

Another complainant first met the officer when he interviewed her about an attempted arson attack she had witnessed, the panel heard.

Mr Berry said: "She was unwell. It would have been apparent to then-Sgt Lumb from his very first meeting at her address that she was a vulnerable person."

The panel heard the officer and the woman went on to have sex at her home on multiple occasions, although it found insufficient evidence to prove the case against the officer in regards to this complainant.

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