A Wiltshire Police officer has been dismissed for gross misconduct.
In June and August 2019, former Wiltshire Police officer PC Andrew Ross, picked up a woman, who he had originally contacted through a website, in a marked police car and then drove to an isolated location where they engaged in intimate conversation, kissing and hugging.
PC Ross was on duty at the time these incidents occurred and therefore his actions constituted five breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour relating to
- Honesty and Integrity
- Authority, Respect and Courtesy
- Orders and Instructions
- Duties and Responsibilities
- Discreditable Conduct
As a result of these incidents, on Monday 24 August 2020, a misconduct hearing was held which heard two allegations of gross misconduct against PC Andrew Ross were heard, being the misuse of a police vehicle in relation to the carriage of passengers while he was on duty.
PC Ross admitted both allegations at the hearing, chaired by a Legally Qualified Chair (in line with Police Conduct Regulations), held at Wiltshire Police HQ in Devizes.
Following the hearing Supt Steve Cox, Head of Professional Standards, said:
“I believe the majority of police officers, staff and volunteers have the best intentions at heart in both their professional and personal lives – delivering the best they can day in day out.
“The public rightly expect all police officers and staff to operate to the highest standards of professional conduct – equally, our training and culture also demands this to be the case and I fully understand that any slight deterioration in such standards can have a detrimental impact on the highest levels of trust and confidence which we enjoy with our local communities and the wider national public.
“Whilst today is a disappointing one, I hope the outcome of this hearing provides confidence to the public that when a breach of our standards are appropriately identified or raised directly with us we will be robust but fair in how we consider and deal with any complaint.
“The Code of Ethics that all officers and staff work within, clearly sets out the behaviour that is expected by all of us whether on or off duty.”
Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“Wiltshire Police demands the highest standards of behaviour and conduct from all officers, staff and volunteers both while at work and in their daily lives.
“It is vitally important that those who fall short of these expected standards are disciplined appropriately so that members of the public can have complete confidence that those who enforce the law are being held to account.
“Clearly in this instance, Mr Ross dramatically fell short of the standards expected by the Force and the public. I fully support the decision to dismiss with immediate effect after an appropriate investigation into these gross misconduct allegations.”