Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Former Wiltshire Police staff member sentenced for misconduct in public office

A former Wiltshire Police member of staff has been given a custodial sentence for misconduct in public office, following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Rachel Beale, 53, pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier court hearing in January. At Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday 30th March, she was sentenced by a judge to six months’ imprisonment.  

Our investigation found evidence that she entered into an inappropriate, intimate relationship with a man she was responsible for supervising as part of her role as an offender manager within the police force’s Management of Sexual and Violent Offenders Unit.

Our investigation also found evidence that she used her position as a keyworker during the Coronavirus pandemic to make hotel bookings that were not for a law enforcement purpose. The misconduct occurred between February and September 2020.

The IOPC carried out an investigation following a conduct referral from Wiltshire Police in September 2020. During the investigation, we interviewed Ms Beale under criminal caution, examined her mobile phones and devices and obtained statements from several witnesses.

At the end of our investigation, we referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge. We also submitted our investigation report to Wiltshire Police with our view that Ms Beale had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

Ms Beale has since resigned from Wiltshire Police. A disciplinary hearing held earlier this month by the force determined that she would have been dismissed without notice if still serving. She has been added to the Police Barred List.

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “Following our investigation, Rachel Beale admitted that she entered into an intimate relationship over a period of time with a man she was meant to be supervising professionally. Despite knowing there was an imbalance of power she pursued the relationship. She also admitted misusing her police identification to book hotel rooms while Covid restrictions were in place and without policing purpose and treating him more favourably than others she was managing.

“She abused her position and has now been sentenced by a criminal court for her actions, which carried significant potential to undermine public confidence in Wiltshire Police. The public should be reassured that she can no longer hold a role in policing.”

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