Police officer sacked after sending sexually inappropriate messages to 14-year-old girl

A police officer who sent “inappropriate and unprofessional” messages to a 14-year-old girl in a children’s home has been sacked.

Pc Ian Bell was dismissed without notice from West Yorkshire Police on Tuesday after a career understood to have lasted more than 20 years.

A panel found Bell’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, after a two day hearing, and that he had a sexual motive.

According to the force the hearing heard how Bell, 46, attended the home following a report of a missing person on July 19, 2017.

The force said on its website: “Whilst at the address, Pc Bell spoke with a 14-year-old female resident.

“It is alleged that on July 20, 2017, the officer sent the female resident a number of inappropriate and unprofessional messages via Snapchat having obtained her details the previous day.

“It is further alleged that at the end of the communications, the officer asked the female resident to delete the messages between them.”

The force said: “All charges were proved and the officer was dismissed without notice.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Oz Khan, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “The behaviour of this officer was quite simply unacceptable and completely at odds with the standards that we expect from our officers and staff.

“While his actions did not meet the threshold for the CPS to charge him with a criminal offence, it was quite right that we pursued a misconduct case against him and he has now been dismissed from the force.

“Abuse of position for a sexual purpose is something that we take extremely seriously as an organisation and we have been raising awareness both internally and externally of this issue and encouraging people to report concerns.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Rolf Vennenbernd / DPA / PA.