Northumbria Police officer dismissed over inappropriate photos on social media

23 Dec 2021 11:11 AM

A Northumbria Police officer has been dismissed without notice following a directed Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into inappropriate images of him that were shared on social media.

Following a referral from the force, a directed investigation was carried out by Northumbria Police’s counter corruption unit, under our direction.

The investigation discovered several photos had been posted on public Twitter and Instagram profiles. They appeared to show the officer engaged in poses of a sexualised nature.

Several inappropriate comments on the photos were also found to have come from a profile attributed to the officer.

We found the officer may have breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of his conduct, by allowing the photos to be taken and posted; and confidentiality and orders and instructions, with regard to his inappropriate use of social media.

The force agreed he had a case to answer for gross misconduct and arranged disciplinary proceedings, which were chaired by the Chief Constable and held in private to protect the identity of a vulnerable witness. 

At the accelerated misconduct hearing on Thursday (16 December), the case against the officer was found to be proven and he was dismissed without notice.

IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “This use of social media was entirely inappropriate and risked seriously undermining public confidence in the police.

“When he became aware these images had been posted, rather than asking for them to be removed, he encouraged them by posting comments from his own social media account that were completely unacceptable for a police officer.

“Thanks to our directed investigation, and the work of Northumbria Police’s counter corruption unit, he has now been dismissed and will be barred from working in policing in future.”