Ex Essex Police inspector ‘sexually touched junior colleague’ and sent inappropriate emails
A former Essex Police Inspector who allegedly sexually touched a colleague and sent inappropriate emails has been found guilty of gross misconduct.
Following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the hearing ruled Jonathan McLeod — who was based in Basildon — would have been dismissed without notice had he not resigned in February 2020.
The 38-year-old faced allegations that he “abused his position for sexual purpose” after allegedly being sexually inappropriate to junior female colleagues and sexually touching one on three occasions.
The hearing heard he behaved inappropriately towards a number of colleagues by sending inappropriate emails and making comments of a sexual nature in an abuse of police powers described as a form of “serious corruption”.
The independent police disciplinary panel found the case proven that Mr McLeod had breached police professional standards of behaviour relating to honesty and integrity, orders and instructions, authority, respect and courtesy, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.
He did not attend the hearing or offer a defence.
“Devastating impact on victims”
Regional director Graham Beesley said: “The abuse of police powers for purposes of sexual exploitation is a form of serious corruption.
“It has a devastating impact on victims, and a serious impact on the public’s confidence in individual officers and the service in general.
“The officers involved included some who were lower ranking and one of them told our investigators she felt she could not report his behaviour because of his seniority and fear that she would not be believed.
“This culture of behaviour, where colleagues cannot go about their work without fear, has no place in policing.”
The IOPC received a referral from Essex Police in December 2018 and completed its investigation the following December.
During the investigation, investigators interviewed Mr McLeod, analysed recorded communications from the email system and WhatsApp messages, and obtained statements from several witnesses, including some of the individuals he had been contacting.