Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Gross misconduct proven against former MPS officer for pursuing a relationship with a victim of domestic violence

A former Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer would have been dismissed if still serving, after he was found to have committed gross misconduct in engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a victim of domestic violence. The proceedings against the officer followed an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Following a two-day gross misconduct hearing, which concluded on Tuesday 11 February, a panel found that PC Nicholas Desirliste breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to honesty and integrity, orders and instructions, confidentiality, conduct and authority, respect and courtesy.

PC Desirliste resigned from the MPS ahead of the hearing, but the panel found that his actions amounted to gross misconduct which would have led to his dismissal had he still been employed by the MPS. He will be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list.

We began our investigation in July 2018 following a referral from the MPS after they became aware that PC Desirliste, based at Colindale Police Station, had formed a relationship with a victim he met through the course of his duties.

PC Desirliste asked his senior officer if the victim could join his response team for a ride along but the request was declined. PC Desirliste was reminded about forming inappropriate relationships by the senior officer and advised not to pursue a relationship.

Our investigators gathered evidence including telephone records and computer system audits. We interviewed the officer. Online evidence gathered showed that the officer had formed a relationship with the victim and had taken foreign holidays together.

In March 2019 we concluded our investigation and passed our findings to the MPS. We found that PC Desirliste had a case to answer for gross misconduct and the MPS agreed.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green yesterday said:

“PC Desirliste clearly and persistently set out to pursue someone whom he knew to be a victim of crime, abusing his position to form a relationship.

“The public expects police officers to maintain exemplary standards of conduct, integrity and professionalism.

“These were serious allegations and the independent panel has reinforced the message that this sort of behaviour by police officers is never acceptable.”


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