Northants Police constable issued final warning after forming relationship with widow of crash victim

Police and crime news EMN-160811-103418001

Police and crime news EMN-160811-103418001

A police constable who developed a relationship with the widow of a crash victim has been issued with a final written warning.

Constable 0098 Matt Godfrey was found guilty of the allegations at a gross misconduct panel.

PC Godfrey was found guilty of the following allegations:

- That he had an inappropriate relationship with an individual he came into contact with in his role as a family liaison officer;

- That he failed to maintain an accurate log of his contact with the individual in question;

- That he failed to inform senior officers of the existence of the relationship;

- That he misled another officer concerning the relationship.

Independent chair of the panel Henry Gordon said: “In our view this is a very serious case.

“His behaviour defied common sense and clear guidance.

“His misconduct has the capacity to seriously damage the reputation of Northamptonshire Police.

“We find the misconduct aggravated by the numerous opportunities he had to report or remove himself from the relationship and by the fact that he, on our findings, appreciated the relationship was inappropriate.

“We have identified mitigating factors. We take into account that the relationship is ongoing.

“That he did not use his position as a police officer to advance the relationship. We also take into account that, in reality, no further investigative work was required.

“We take into account that this is not a case on our findings on operational dishonesty, and that his misleading of (another officer) whilst unfitting towards a colleague, was largely of omission.

“Having considered very carefully the appropriate sanction, in our view PC Godfrey can properly be issued with a final written warning.”

A police spokeman said: “We expect the highest standards of behaviour from all officers and staff and matters such as these are taken extremely seriously. “Officers are expected to uphold the law in a professional capacity and when this comes into question, the impact can be significant.

“Any concerns raised to us relating to the conduct of an officer or staff will be looked at seriously.”