Hertfordshire Police officer Sgt Ricki Vaughan sacked for abusing position to chat with woman
A police officer who tried to form a relationship with an 18-year-old woman “under the guise of arranging work experience” has been sacked.
Sgt Ricki Vaughan, of Hertfordshire Police, met the barmaid at a charity BBQ held at a police station.
Mr Vaughan, who was aged 39 at the time, sent “deplorably inappropriate messages” to a colleague about the woman, the misconduct panel said.
His actions were found to amount to gross misconduct.
The misconduct panel heard that after their initial meeting at the BBQ, Mr Vaughan and a colleague referred to as PC A encountered the woman while she was working at a pub on 23 October 2019.
As the two officers were leaving, the barmaid, referred to as Ms C, approached PC A about spending time in the force control room as she was interested in working for the police.
PC A deferred to Mr Vaughan, who informed her that he was about to advertise for an administrative role in his own department, the panel said.
Later, Mr Vaughan messaged PC A on Whatsapp in which he said: “Good man. Dude get my number to that bird and you can have a half day Friday (winking face emoji).”
A later message from Mr Vaughan said: “Odds on me her.”
The panel said Mr Vaughan held “a position of trust and a role with potential access to career development for her”.
The panel said the messages sent to PC A were “unambiguously sexual, crude and cynical” and the language used was “objectively offensive and lewd”.
“These are deplorably inappropriate messages both for their language and content and for what they reveal about PS Vaughan’s intentions,” they said.
The panel said messages to Ms C also “reveal at worst an attempt to set up a ruse to dupe Ms C into meeting him with a view to seeking means of establishing a sexual relationship with him under the guise of arranging work experience — or, at best, a ‘testing of the waters’… with Ms C”.