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'Gross misconduct' of sex-on-duty copper

Officer jumps before he's pushed

Three years after Devon and Cornwall Police began investigating complaints of sexual misconduct against one of its officers, an independent panel has found him guilty of gross misconduct.

Although that would normally be sufficient for PC Richard Hosken-Johns to be sacked, that's not possible because he's resigned from the service.

The constable was found to have breached the standard of professional behaviour expected from a police officer.

Several allegations were made against former PC Hosken-Johns. It was alleged he had undertaken inappropriate sexual relationships with three women, including two considered to be vulnerable, whom he had met in his capacity as a police officer. It had also been alleged that he had told two of the women to lie if their relationships with him were ever questioned.

Following a public hearing, a panel found all the allegations proven, including that the officer had abused his position to enter in to a sexual relationship whilst on duty with two women who he knew to be vulnerable, he failed to maintain self-control, he had sex on duty, he made disparaging remarks to the women in relation to his work colleagues, he absented himself from the workplace and therefore neglected his duty.

Mr Hosken-Johns' details will now be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing him from working in policing for at least five years.

Deputy chief constable Paul Netherton said: “Devon and Cornwall Police take any reports of abuse of position for sexual gain very seriously. The vast majority of our officers and staff go to work every day and work diligently to help the public and keep them safe from harm. However PC Hosken-Johns deliberately took advantage of these women at a time when they were considered as vulnerable and approached the police for help and support. 

“This type of behaviour has undoubtedly significantly eroded the women’s trust and confidence in policing. I hope that the positive stance we have taken goes some way to regaining their trust and confidence. This type of behaviour is highly damaging to our reputation and there is no place for it in policing the communities we serve.

DCC Netherton continued: “If you suspect a member of the Force is abusing their position, e.g. engaging in or pursuing an emotional or sexual relationship with a victim of crime or a witness or contacting you or someone you know whilst off duty or via personal telephone numbers, then please report your concerns to Devon and Cornwall Police.”

Reports of concern can be reported to Devon and Cornwall Police by calling 101 or emailing professional.standards@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.

Alternatively members of the public can contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – details of which can be found at: www.policeconduct.gov.uk or anonymously via CrimeStoppers at Crimestoppers-uk.org or Freephone 0800 555 111.

Devon and Cornwall Police have not issued a photograph of Mr Hosken-Jones.

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