A Sussex Police officer has been sacked after it emerged he had been spending parts of his night shifts visiting two women he was having sexual relationships with.
Sergeant Alan Ward, 40, a response officer based at Bognor, was the subject of a public Special Case (Fast Track) hearing at Sussex Police headquarters, in Lewes, on Tuesday (December 12) where he faced allegations of breaching standards of professional behaviour in respect of duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.
At the hearing, chief constable of Sussex Police Giles York said sergeant Ward, who was not present at the hearing, had spent time at the addresses of two separate women while on duty for 27 out of 56 night shifts between January 1 and September 30 this year.
Sergeant Ward’s location had been established by tracking the GPS on his police radio, according to chief constable York.
On a separate occasion, on Friday, October 6, 2017, officers from Sussex Police’s professional standards department, alerted by information received via the force’s confidential reporting website, discovered sergeant Ward at an address in Bognor Regis between the hours of 9.25pm and 11pm, while on duty.
On that occasion, sergeant Ward was engaged in sexual activity with a female.
Chief constable York found both allegations against sergeant Ward and dismissed him with immediate effect following a 30 minute adjournment on Tuesday evening.
Sergeant Ward had previously admitted the allegations against him.
Summing up, chief constable York said: “In considering the allegations against Mr Ward, it must be considered whether his actions amount to gross misconduct.
“In his role as a sergeant, he was there to serve his community and failed to be there for them on a number of occasions.
“Mr Ward has let down the code of ethics for policing, let down the police and let down the public of Sussex by not fulfilling the role of a police officer at a time when the pressure on my staff is so high.
“I therefore believe the appropriate sanction for Mr Ward is dismissal with immediate effect.”
Sergeant Ward joined Sussex Police in March 2001 and had served as a sergeant for ten years.
After the hearing, assistant chief constable of Sussex Police Laurence Taylor said: “At a time when the demands on the force and his colleagues are considerable, this officer’s actions fell woefully short of the expectations of Sussex Police and the public he was meant to serve.
“I am pleased that our confidential reporting system, through which this was first reported, demonstrated that his colleagues were similarly as disappointed by his behaviour.
“It is important to show that the force will fairly investigate its own staff and this highlights our determination not to allow a very small number of officers to damage the confidence held in Sussex Police, nor bring into disrepute the enormous amount of good work carried out day-to-day by thousands of hard-working and enormously dedicated police officers and staff across the county.”