Thursday 29 February 2024
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Notts Police sergeant sacked for taking sexually explicit images of himself while on duty

An on-duty officer took sexually explicit images of himself while he was inside a police station.

Sergeant Simon Spooner exposed himself and took pictures on two separate occasions when he was at work.

He was also later found to have used his phone to send a series of private messages that contained misogynistic language.

The pictures and offensive texts were all sent by Sgt Spooner to a woman he was in a relationship with.

Sgt Spooner took the pictures while alone in a police station, before sending them on 9 September 2018 and 11 December 2018.

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This breached strict policing standards of professional behaviour around ‘authority, respect and courtesy’, and ‘discreditable conduct’.

Following this, Sgt Spooner then sent messages over WhatsApp to the same woman which contained multiple examples of sexist language.

Misogynistic remarks were made about female officers within Nottinghamshire Police during a series of texts, between September 2020 and April 2022.

His use of these offensive terms breached further standards of professional behaviour – namely around ‘equality and diversity’.

Sgt Spooner’s actions were eventually uncovered by Nottinghamshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate.

The officer admitted to each of the three professional standards breaches, while also acknowledging that his behaviour did amount to gross misconduct.

An accelerated misconduct hearing was set up as a result, which took place at Sherwood Lodge Force Headquarters on Wednesday (24 January).

It was chaired by the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, Rob Nixon.

At the hearing, Sgt Spooner said he’d shown a “grave lack of judgement” in doing what he did, and that he was “embarrassed and ashamed” by his behaviour.

He also expressed remorse for his actions and apologised for “letting myself, the police and the communities I serve down”.

While acknowledging Sgt Spooner’s candour and his “exceptional” service over more than 20 years, Chief Constable Nixon added that the officer’s behaviour was “likely to undermine the public’s confidence in policing and damage the reputation of the police service”.

Bearing this in mind and having agreed that the officer’s actions amounted to gross misconduct, he ruled that Sgt Spooner be dismissed without notice.

Superintendent Andrew Reynolds, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “This officer’s actions fell well short of the high professional standards that we expect at Nottinghamshire Police.

“By his own admission, he breached three of the standards of professional behaviour that we require all of our officers to maintain at all times.

“His decision to twice take sexually explicit photos of himself from inside a police station and while he was on a work shift was incredibly inappropriate.

“Likewise, the misogynistic language he was found to have used in messages relating to our female policing colleagues was completely unacceptable.

“Sexist language of this kind cannot be allowed to go unchecked and will simply not be tolerated by Nottinghamshire Police.”

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