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Former Thames Valley Police officer pleads guilty to misconduct in public office

Oliver Perry-Smith will be sentenced on April 29.

Isobel Frodsham
Wednesday 30 March 2022 21:04 BST
Former Thames Valley Police Officer Oliver Perry-Smith leaving court (Aaron Chown/PA)
Former Thames Valley Police Officer Oliver Perry-Smith leaving court (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

An-ex police constable has admitted pursuing a number of women for sex after meeting them during the course of his duties, a watchdog has said.

Oliver Perry-Smith, who served with Thames Valley Police, pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday to three charges of misconduct in public office and two charges of unauthorised access to computer material, contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

It follows an IOPC investigation, which started after a referral from Thames Valley Police in November 2019.

Reading Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Archive)

Following its conclusion in June 2021, the IOPC shared a file of evidence with the Crown Prosecution Service, which took the decision to authorise charges against the officer.

At an earlier hearing, Reading Crown Court heard Perry-Smith, 38, was accused of abusing public trust through acts including having a sexual relationship with a woman who he met through his job between October 2015 and December 2016.

The woman had been accused of harassment and Perry-Smith had been dealing with her case.

Perry-Smith was accused of misconduct over allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a woman between March 2015 and October 2018, who had reported the theft of her son’s phone and who he also met when he was working on the case.

He was also accused of obtaining personal information about another woman he met in a shop in Newbury while on duty.

The court heard how he visited her home for non-police reasons and made “inappropriate remarks” in February 2019.

The constable was also accused of engaging or attempting to engage in sexual relationships with female members of the public while on duty from September 2014 to November 2019.

He also used the police national computer system to find personal information about a woman, and data about another person, both in 2019, the court heard.

Following the hearing, Thames Valley Police said Perry-Smith resigned from the force on February 8 this year.

A special case misconduct hearing, chaired by Chief Constable John Campbell, was held the following day.

The Chief Constable determined the former Pc’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and he would have been dismissed from the force had he not already resigned, Thames Valley said.

Perry-Smith has been placed on the College of Policing’s barred list.

The hearing was held in private in order that the legal proceedings were not prejudiced.

Perry-Smith is seen attending court on a separate hearing date (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg said: “Former Pc Perry-Smith’s actions were not only disgraceful, but were also criminal.

“We took robust action by referring his case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as well as carrying out our own misconduct procedures. In these misconduct procedures, Chief Constable John Campbell determined that if Pc Perry-Smith had not resigned, he would have been dismissed from our force.

“The public has a right to expect that police officers are always acting with the utmost integrity and professionalism, and that they can be trusted to use personal information on police systems appropriately and respectfully.

“Officers who fail to do this are committing a criminal offence, not to mention falling far below the standards their colleagues and the public expect of them.

“I am pleased that Oliver Perry-Smith is facing justice for his actions and is no longer part of Thames Valley Police.”

Perry-Smith, who was based at Newbury Police Station, will be sentenced on April 29.

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