A Metropolitan Police Service officer who attempted to form an inappropriate relationship with a woman he met while on duty would have been dismissed without notice if he had not already resigned, a police disciplinary panel has ruled.
Following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the independently chaired panel on Friday 13th May found the former officer had abused his position to try and form an inappropriate relationship and gross misconduct was proven against former PC Shiva Hetheecharan.
Evidence gathered by IOPC investigators indicated that PC Hetheecharan investigated an alleged theft of cash in August 2018.
In May 2020, 20 months after the initial allegation, the crime victim then reported to the police that PC Hetheecharan had contacted her on social media via WhatsApp in June 2019, asking her out for a drink.
After getting no response, he wrote: ‘I’ll take that as a no, no worries’.
Then in May 2020, he messaged again, falsely claiming he was following up on the investigation and was required to obtain a further statement from her.
The woman rang 101 to report the officer and said he had wanted to take a statement at her home, which had made her feel unsafe.
The disciplinary hearing determined the former officer, who was attached to South West Command Unit, had breached police standards of professional behaviour for honesty and integrity; authority, respect and courtesy; confidentiality; and discreditable conduct.
IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said:
“Abuse of position to attempt to form an inappropriate relationship is a form of serious corruption and this behaviour has no place in policing.
“Ms A called 101 because she was suspicious that what PC Hetheecharan had told her about the investigation being reopened was not true and was consequently concerned for her safety if he was to go to her home.
“This behaviour was an abuse of trust and seriously risked damaging this woman’s – and the public’s – confidence in the police.
“The outcome today should provide a clear message to any officer who misconducts themselves in such a way, that they will be held to account and can and will face serious consequences for their actions.”
The IOPC received a complaint referral from the Met Police in May 2020 and began an independent investigation, which concluded in June 2021.
The officer was placed under criminal investigation, and his mobile phone was seized during the investigation. Investigators also obtained statements from his colleagues and line managers.
The IOPC sent an evidence file to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided not to bring charges.
Former PC Hetheecharan will now be placed on the policing barred list, meaning he cannot work in policing again.
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