Luton police officer's gross misconduct after harassing female colleagues on social media

Beds Police headquarters
Beds Police headquarters

A Luton police officer who made inappropriate comments to female colleagues on social media has been found to have committed gross misconduct.

PC Damian Ratcliffe contacted six PCs and a member of police staff on social media and pestered the women ever after they told him to stop.

The incidents involving the officers occurred between December 2016 and May this year. He was moved to a back office role at Luton Police Station while his actions were investigated, but then made further comments to a member of police staff in May.

He resigned on the day he was due to be suspended in July. However, a decision made in 2017 means that all gross misconduct cases must continue to their conclusion.

A misconduct hearing was held by Chief Constable Garry Forsyth at Police HQ in Kempston yesterday (Tuesday) where he was found to have breached professional standards namely – Authority, Respect and Courtesy, and Discreditable conduct. PC Ratcliffe did not attend the hearing.

He was ruled to have committed gross misconduct and would have been dismissed if he had still been a serving officer.

Mr Forsyth said: “Damian Ratcliffe’s actions were completely unacceptable and have no place in society – let alone within policing.

“We expect our officers and staff to treat each other with the utmost respect – which clearly he failed to do repeatedly.

“We are currently recruiting new officers and I would hope that potential candidates will be reassured that we will not tolerate anyone who thinks it is acceptable to act in this way.”