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Officer dismissed and barred from policing following misconduct hearing

A police officer who posted intimate images of three women online without their consent or knowledge, has been dismissed without notice after gross misconduct allegations were proven.

PC Dave Lovell, who was based in Somerset, was given the sanction by Chief Constable Sarah Crew following a misconduct hearing held at Police Headquarters earlier today (Wednesday 3 May).

One of the women first contacted our Professional Standards Department in May 2021 after a friend told her that intimate images of her had been posted on a website. She told investigators she’d consensually shared these images with PC Lovell previously but had never given him consent to post them online.

An investigation was launched, and investigators discovered that intimate images of two other women had also been posted online by PC Lovell. The women were identified and proactively contacted.

All three women stated they didn’t wish to proceed with a criminal complaint but were willing to support the misconduct process, on the basis they would be given anonymity.

Head of Professional Standards, Supt Mark Edgington, said: “This has been an extremely distressing case for the three women involved and they’ve shown incredible fortitude and courage in supporting these misconduct proceedings against PC Lovell.

“As soon as the first allegation was received, he was suspended from duty and a thorough investigation was carried out, resulting in the other complainants being identified and informed.

“PC Lovell has exploited and abused the confidence placed in him by the complainants; his behaviour has been nothing short of disgraceful.

“It’s right he should never be able to serve in law enforcement again as he’s proven himself to be incapable of upholding the high standards expected of him. He’s betrayed the trust bestowed on him by the public, which in turn negatively impacts on the confidence the public have in their police service.”

A separate allegation that PC Lovell had sex with a police employee while on-duty at a police station, sometime between January 2012 and December 2013, was also proven, as was a further allegation he’d engaged in an inappropriate relationship with another former police employee.

PC Lovell will now be placed on a national barred list, preventing him from being employed by another police force or law enforcement agency again.