Bethnal Green PC sacked for “inappropriate relationship” with girl, 14
A police officer has been sacked for having an “inappropriate relationship” with a vulnerable 14-year-old girl he met while working.
PC Robert Nicholson has been dismissed from his job as a jailer at Bethnal Green police station after an investigation found he had sent hundreds of text and Facebook messages to the girl, who was in care.
He “exploited his position as a police officer to pursue her sexually”, London commissioner for the Independent Police Complaints Commission Deborah Glass said.
She added that there could be little doubt he knew her age and vulnerability.
The IPCC’s probe revealed he met the girl after she was arrested and held in custody at the station in October 2009.
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Two months later the officer, who was 27 at the time, drove from his home in Colchester to meet up with her in Romford.
She was reported missing from her care home and one of her friends later told staff she was with a police officer.
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PC Nicholson had asked for the girl’s number when he first met her but also used police databases to access her records.
A few days before the pair met, PC Nicholson also found out the girl and a friend were planning to meet a significantly older man in Southend but he failed to intervene.
Ms Glass added: “The girl told us that she trusted this man because he was a police officer. We expect the police to protect us and our families, yet PC Nicholson’s actions were, from the outset, a disgraceful abuse of his position.”
Evidence from the texts and Facebook messages exchanged between the two showed “emotional and sexual elements”, the investigation found.
The extent of the contact led the girl to believe they were in a relationship.
The panel, made up of the Met police’s internal investigative body the Directorate of Professional Standards and the IPCC, returned a verdict of gross misconduct.