Former police officer sent 'sexually suggestive' messages to colleague while on duty, disciplinary panel told

PUBLISHED: 08:09 21 December 2018

Chelmsford Civic Centre. Picture: GOOGLE

Chelmsford Civic Centre. Picture: GOOGLE

Archant

A former Essex Police officer who engaged in sexual activity at a police station and sent "sexually suggestive" messages to a colleague while on duty has been found guilty of gross misconduct.

Former PC Harry Burgess was told he would have been dismissed if he had not already resigned after it was found he had breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to orders and instructions, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct.

Former PC Burgess was found to have exchanged personal and sexually suggestive messages to another officer, while on duty, via WhatsApp, text message, and the Essex Police e-mail system between January 19 and June 8, 2016.

It was also found he had engaged in sexual activity at a police station during the same period.

PC Laura Welsh was found to have also breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to prders and instructions, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct and was given a written warning.

The Essex Police misconduct hearing was held at the Civic Centre, in Chelmsford, on December 17 and 18, with a panel chaired by independent legally qualified chairman, Neil Dalton.

The senior officer on the panel, Chief Superintendent Tracey Harman, said: “Former PC Harry Burgess acted in a way that goes against what we expect of our officers.

“He took advantage of a situation with another officer to satisfy his own urges and did so while he was meant to be serving and protecting the people of Essex.

“For PC Welsh’s part, I hope she uses this as a learning opportunity for future behaviour.”

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