A police officer who used the services of a sex worker with links to organised crime has been dismissed without notice by Chief Constable Sarah Crew following an accelerated misconduct hearing.
After the hearing on Friday 16 September, held in public, CC Crew ruled that PC Kelly Norris had breached standards of professional behaviour covering integrity; authority, respect and courtesy; and discreditable conduct, and that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.
The hearing heard that the officer himself reported to his supervisor on realising that he recognised the individual he had met with most recently as someone whose record he had seen in the course of his work.
CC Crew said: “We in policing know that sex workers are often vulnerable victims of exploitation, control and physical and sexual violence. Our role as police officers is to work with partner agencies to try to keep vulnerable people safe and signpost to support services.
“As an officer, PC Norris is or should have been aware of these vulnerabilities yet he has chosen to engage sex workers more than once.
“He also knew or should have known the potential for sex workers to be linked with organised crime groups and should have realised the risk this posed to his integrity as a police officer.
“The public will be shocked to hear of a police officer paying for sexual services. It is wholly unacceptable. Our communities understand that the police should be protecting women and vulnerable people, and that the officer’s integrity could be compromised.
“There is no place for such behaviour in Avon and Somerset Police. The conduct is so serious and so injurious to public confidence in the police service that nothing less than dismissal without notice can suffice.”
PC Norris will also be placed on the barred list, preventing him from joining the police service again.