Police officer guilty of inappropriate relationship

A Bedfordshire Police officer has pleaded guilty to misconduct after instigating an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable woman.

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 5:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 1:43 pm

PC Andrew Hurst, 31, met the woman, who was in her 20’s, in November 2014, during a cell watch after she had been arrested for shoplifting.

After offering her help in getting mental health support from agencies, he continued to communicate with her on the phone and social media. The communication progressed to being of a sexual nature.

The woman’s partner became aware of what was happening and notified Bedfordshire Police on 30 March 2015.

PC Hurst was arrested the next day and suspended. He pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office at St Albans Crown Court yesterday.

He had joined Bedfordshire Police in 2009.

Assistant Chief Constable Mike Colbourne said: “Protecting vulnerable people is a priority for Bedfordshire Police and we will not tolerate anyone who seeks to exploit those who are at risk of harm.

“It is incredibly disappointing that, despite the considerable amount of work being done across the force to raise awareness of vulnerability, that one of our own officers became involved in such an inappropriate relationship.

“We acted swiftly to suspend him as soon as we became aware of his deplorable conduct.

“We expect the highest standards of our officers and I would like to sincerely apologise to the woman involved in this case and her family for any upset caused.”

He will be sentenced on 25 October.