A former police officer has admitted misconduct in a public office after starting a sexual relationship with a woman who he met as a victim of crime.
Ben Robinson, 39, who worked as a police constable in Kirklees district, entered a basis of plea of guilty to misconduct in a public office on the first day of his trial at Preston Crown Court on Friday, 6 September.
He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £1,200 in costs and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Robinson resigned from West Yorkshire Police following his arrest on 17 October 2017.
As a serving officer, Robinson investigated a domestic violence incident.
During the course of the investigation he engaged in consensual sexual acts with the victim.
An evidential file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in early February 2016.
He accepted by embarking on a sexual relationship with the woman at the time he did he jeopardised the integrity of his role in the investigation and risked undermining the justice of the case.
The relationship came to light after another officer became aware of it and reported their concerns to the Force.
Detective Superintendent Richard Crinnion, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “We expect the highest standards of professional behaviour from our officers and staff in line with the Code of Ethics.
“Robinson has admitted misconduct in a public office which means he wilfully neglected to perform his duty to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust without reasonable excuse or justification.”
The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) set out a national strategy in October 2017 for addressing the issue of police officers and staff who abuse their position for a sexual purpose. Since then, West Yorkshire Police has run an awareness campaign for police employees and key partner agencies, and has more recently extended this campaign to the wider public.
“We need everyone; our officers and staff, victims, witnesses and suspects, to understand that police employees should not be abusing their position of trust and authority to form sexual relationships.
“It is thanks to one of our officers who learnt of this inappropriate relationship that this offending came to light.
“Robinson resigned from the Force whilst under investigation and is currently on the College of Policing’s Police Advisory List. A misconduct hearing will be held in due course.” Detective Superintendent Crinnion added.