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Gloucestershire: Police officer 'contacted sex workers on work phone'

Gloucestershire: Police officer 'contacted sex workers on work phone'

A police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct and barred from future police service after he contacted sex workers and sent a racist message.

PC Christian Fereday, 44, who worked for Gloucestershire Constabulary, also drove a police car to waxing appointments during lockdowns.

The WhatsApp message "shocked" those who received it, the hearing was told.

PC Fereday did not attend, and was not represented.

Stephen Morley, presenting the case against the officer, said the accusations came from an investigation launched in February 2021, after concerns were raised about the use of PC Fereday's police mobile phone.

'Flirtatious and inappropriate'

He had sent "flirtatious and inappropriate" messages to a woman he had met through work, asking her to send him photographs of herself, said Mr Morley.

"Fereday admits sending and receiving messages from her and that it was 'flirtatious and unprofessional' and he says he was 'flattered by the attention'," Mr Morley said.

Inquiries found the officer had used his mobile phone on duty to access websites to contact sex workers in Gloucester and the south west of England.

The hearing also heard that on 12 occasions between May 2020 and March 2021, PC Fereday accessed pornographic websites on his mobile phone while on duty.

The racist WhatsApp message about a famous South Africa rugby player shocked those receiving it, including a detective constable, the hearing was told.

Further allegations came to light after a beautician was spoken to by investigators.

She confirmed the details of the waxing appointments, and an examination of data from the police vehicles confirmed some of the sessions lasted between 21 and 37 minutes.

"He admits going for waxing appointments while on duty. He said that personal appointments while on duty were not uncommon among his colleagues. He accepts breaching the Covid-19 regulations," Mr Morley said.

It was further alleged Fereday had used his personal mobile phone to send more than 200 emails to his work account about policing matters, a breach of data regulations.

The final allegation involved him telling a member of the public in October 2019 that someone they knew had been arrested and was in custody, something he received a caution for.

Mr Morley said that, taken together, the allegations collectively amounted to gross misconduct.


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