A police constable has been sacked after an illicit encounter with a woman he had driven home earlier in a police car.
PC Andrew Sweeney, 35, was dismissed from Hertfordshire Constabulary after an incident in September 2016, which began when he was on duty and gave a vulnerable woman a lift home in a marked police vehicle.
During the journey, telephone numbers were exchanged and messages were then sent between them, a disciplinary panel heard.
Deputy Chief Constable, Michelle Dunn, said: ‘There is no place in Hertfordshire Constabulary for those who exploit vulnerable people, especially when we should be there to protect and support them’ (pictured: Hertfordshire Constabulary)
Once PC Sweeney finished his shift, he visited the home address of the woman where consensual sex took place.
Sweeney worked within a local policing team in Hertford, and he was fired following a misconduct hearing.
Hertfordshire Deputy Chief Constable, Michelle Dunn, said: ‘PC Sweeney’s behaviour was totally unacceptable and it is quite right that he has been dismissed without notice.
‘He grossly breached the high standards of professional conduct and ethical behaviour that we and the public expect from the police service.
‘There is no place in Hertfordshire Constabulary for those who exploit vulnerable people, especially when we should be there to protect and support them.’
David Lloyd, the Police Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: ‘PC Sweeney’s behaviour brought the excellent reputation of Hertfordshire Constabulary into disrepute.
‘He failed to live up to the high standards we rightly expect of our officers and broke the trust of a vulnerable person. He fundamentally undermined the position of police officer.
‘I welcome the decision of the panel and am pleased that the message from the Deputy Chief Constable has been so clear. This conduct will not be tolerated and the Constabulary will make sure that officers who break the rules are held to account for their behaviour.
‘I also welcome the fact that these hearings now take place in public, which demonstrates how seriously complaints against the police are taken and the firm action which is taken as a result.’
The panel found that PC Sweeney, who was based in Hertford, had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour namely Authority, Respect and Courtesy and Discreditable Conduct.
The panel found that these breaches amounted to Gross Misconduct.