A police officer who started a sexual relationship with a victim of crime has been sacked.
Bedfordshire Police said that a misconduct hearing this week heard Pc Dermot Dunne began the relationship in 2005, which continued for a few months.
He was found to have used a police computer system to obtain the victim’s mobile phone number.
The force said Dunne rekindled the relationship several years later, while he was also being investigated over a similar matter.
The misconduct panel found he had failed to notify Bedfordshire Police’s professional standards department of the relationship.
The victim did not want to support a criminal investigation when the matter was reported last year.
She had told police Dunne sexually assaulted her one night after plying her with a sedative. The allegation was not proven by the panel.
He becomes the 10th Bedfordshire Police officer in a year to be dismissed by the force for gross misconduct.
Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said Dunne’s behaviour was “appalling and completely unacceptable”.
He said: “There is simply no place in our organisation for anyone capable of such abhorrent behaviour and we will continue to do everything possible to root out any individual who falls short of the high standards I demand of our officers and staff.
“We are working hard to build an inclusive culture which does not tolerate such behaviour or attitudes, and we actively encourage colleagues to call out concerns so we can take action or address behaviour at an early stage.
“We know behaviour and cases such as this will concern our communities. But I want to reassure people that we are determined to identify anyone in our ranks who behaves like this and get them out of policing for good.
“We are committed to keeping women and girls safe and expect the highest standards of professionalism and integrity from our officers and staff.”
The four-day hearing determined Dunne’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.
He will be placed on the College of Policing barred list, banning him from returning to policing or other similar professions.