PS Vaughan denied impropriety in these relationships, but the panel criticised a “lack of insight” into the potential conflicts of interest.

The panel also criticised PS Vaughan for mimicking PC A’s Irish accent, the Sergeant had dismissed this as banter but the panel said that it was “wholly inappropriate” behaviour as his supervisor.

In mitigation, PS Vaughan’s counsel urged the panel to consider the positive findings they found in his management of others, and some colleagues provided positive character references for the officer supporting the view of PS Vaughan has a “hard working, well-organised officer”.

However, the panel said that a final written warning would not be appropriate, and only a dismissal without notice would be reasonable.

They added while he expressed regret or acknowledgement that some of his behaviour – including the messages about Ms C – were inappropriate, “the Panel did not see any evidence of genuine reflection or humility on PS Vaughan’s part”.

The panel concluded: “This is a case where PS Vaughan has, amongst much else we have found proven, made offensive, lewd and degrading remarks about a member of the public in circumstances where she was looking to him as a potential access point for a career change into policing work.

“The maintenance of public confidence and respect relies on self-awareness and sound judgement on the part of police officers and, fundamentally, on their “doing the right thing in the right way” per the Code of Ethics.

  1. “The public can have no confidence in an organisation that would ignore these problems and retain the services of such an officer.”