THE Sussex deputy police chief has spoken out after a married police officer used the national database to search a woman he wanted to date.

A police officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, breached standards of professional behaviour.

He breached conduct rules by searching the police national computer after the woman asked him out for a drink.

The deputy police chief has now spoken out.

The Argus:  Julia Chapman Julia Chapman

Deputy Chief Constable Julia Chapman said: "We expect our officers to act with the utmost integrity, and in accordance with the code of ethics and the standards of professional behaviour.

“The actions of the officer fell far short of these which is reflected in the findings by the panel.

“I am extremely proud of the vast majority of our staff, officers and volunteers working hard within Sussex Police to protect our communities, catch criminals and deliver the outstanding service that the public should rightly expect.

“The unacceptable conduct that has been heard here will not be tolerated but this poor behaviour should not overshadow the hard work of others.”

Identified only as PC A, the officer, who has been with Sussex Police for 19 years, was based at Hastings police station.

PC A was questioned after another officer spotted him spending time with the woman, known as witness B, at her home.

A hearing was organised by the force following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The seven-month investigation followed a referral from Sussex Police and looked at allegations that the officer had formed an inappropriate relationship with a woman and failed to declare it to his superiors. This allegation was not proven.

The disciplinary hearing was told the woman sent an email asking the officer if she could take him out for a drink after he investigated an allegation of theft from her son in 2017.

Evidence indicated that he had accessed information relating to her on police computer systems in 2018 and four out of the five allegations were proven.

The officer was issued with a written warning.

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