A FORMER Metropolitan Police officer started an “inappropriate” relationship with a woman he was at the time investigating for possible criminal offences, a disciplinary panel has ruled.
An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found Detective Constable John McCarthy was guilty of “gross misconduct” while a member of the force, it announced on Tuesday. Mr McCarthy – who resigned from the force at the start of September – was found to have “abused his position” as a Met Police officer to start a sexual relationship with a woman who was a suspect in a harassment case he was investigating in 2017.
According to the Met, the inappropriate relationship began prior to April that year. “Former DC McCarthy also engaged in sexual relations while on duty” in that time “as well as on other occasions,” a Met Police press release said.
The case against the woman was subsequently discontinued. The Met said their sexual relationship continued after the case was dropped.
Mr McCarthy also borrowed £3,580 from the woman in a series of payments, the IOPC found.
The IOPC said it had found evidence that Mr McCarthy never intended to pay the woman back.
The IOPC added that he “would have been dismissed without notice if he had not already resigned” due to his indiscretions.
Mr McCarthy has now been placed on a list of former officers barred from working for the police in the future.
The police watchdog began their investigation in January 2018 after receiving a referral from the force, which ended in March 2020.
The investigation concluded there was a case for gross misconduct.
A two-day hearing concluded on October 12.
It found that Mr McCarthy had breached the police’s professional standards of “honesty and integrity, orders and instructions, the police code of ethics and authority, respect and courtesy.”
Sal Naseem, IOPC regional director, said Mr McCarthy’s actions have had “a corrosive, lasting impact on the public’s confidence in individual officers and the police service in general.”
It was clear Mr McCarthy took “predatory steps for his own sexual gratification and personal gain.”
He added that the punishment he would have received had he not already quit the force was an “outcome police officers should expect and receive” for acting similarly.
“This kind of behaviour had no place in policing,” he continued. “It is behaviour which can never be justified. “Brinkwire Summary News”.