Dating site cop out

Chief Inspector ousted following dating site complaints

The fact that a serving police officer has been given his marching orders because he inadvisably divulged certain aspects of his private life on a dating site serves as a reminder to us all that the information you decide to share, on any social media platform, is very much in the public domain.

The officer fell into the same trap as many prominent society figures, from politicians to headmasters, comedians to sports stars, all have felt the backlash of airing their views in the heat of the moment.

However, as a high-ranking member of the Metropolitan Police Force, the assumed responsibility that comes with the position was adjudged to have been abused as a result of the revelations shared with the popular singles site. Following complaints about that material posted on uniformdating.com, a specialist dating site created for “anyone who works in uniform or fancies those who do!”, according to the hosts, the Independent Police Complaints Commission launched on enquiry into the chief inspector’s behaviour.

Rather than vindicate the 46-year-old, the investigation not only found the evidence that the officer had been bragging about taking drugs on the adult dating service, but also found that he had boasted about committing a sexual offence.

The officer was subsequently arrested by Kent police and given light duties only to perform whilst the enquiry ran its course. Although no criminal convictions were sought following the IPCC enquiry, due to the officer’s ignorance of the etiquette associated with public authority figures using singles dating facilities, dedicated or otherwise, the disciplinary hearing found he was guilty of gross and discreditable conduct.

The fact that the officer accessed the dating site in his own personal time held no sway, with IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin summarising, thus: “Those who discredit their role cannot expect to continue to serve the public, and, as in this case, they should be dismissed.”

The site was borne out of a communal need for careers such as those in our emergency services and armed forces. Due to unusual shift patterns and very often the necessity to work away for months on end, finding love outside these job can be tricky. Singles are more likely to hook up if they have a common understanding of the demanding side of the role.

Indeed, all of these uniform-specific careers are represented on the dating site; however, with reference to the high rank held by the chief superintendent in question, Scotland Yard reminded similar patriarchs that they must adopt “utmost humility and integrity in all areas of their lives”, not just on social platforms and bespoke internet-based dating websites.

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