Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Brighton Police inspector found guilty of abuse of position for sexual purpose

A Brighton Police inspector who engaged in improper relationships with women in Sussex was dismissed on Friday 24 January after being found to have committed gross misconduct following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

In February 2017, Sussex Police referred allegations to the IOPC that Brighton Police Inspector Tony Lumb had engaged in improper relationships with women in Sussex during his service with the force. The IOPC launched an independent investigation and completed its final report in December 2017.

The IOPC referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service in December 2017 who decided not to proceed with charges in October 2018.

Following the completion of its investigation, the IOPC submitted its report to Sussex Police finding a case to answer for gross misconduct. Sussex Police convened Friday’s hearing.

The hearing found Inspector Lumb had engaged in inappropriate relationships with two women he met through the course of his duties. He was also found to have engaged in inappropriate behaviour with two further women whilst on duty. An allegation relating to a fifth woman was found not proven.  The disciplinary panel heard the evidence presented and dismissed the officer for gross misconduct.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green yesterday said:  

"This showed an abuse of trust by a police officer dealing with vulnerable women who expected the police to protect them.

“Allegations that an officer may have been using his position to form relationships with women are serious and are of great concern to the local and wider community.

“The behaviour of police officers who abuse their position for a sexual purpose, particularly in respect of vulnerable persons, is a fundamental betrayal of the public and the values for which the police service stands.

“The vast majority of police officers consistently conduct themselves in accordance with high standards, but this case is a clear demonstration of reprehensible behaviour which no one is prepared to tolerate.

"Exploiting a position for a sexual purpose is a violation of the trust that the public put in the police to serve and protect them. Those who abuse their position have no place in the service, as this case has proven.”


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