Derbyshire PC to keep job after using database to find woman on Instagramon March 24, 2023 at 9:26 pm

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The panel rules sacking the PC was “not a proportional or appropriate outcome” for his actions.

Derbyshire Police HQ in RipleyImage source, Google

An officer will keep his job after it was found he used the Police National Computer (PNC) to find a woman on Instagram.

Derbyshire PC Jack Harrison followed a woman’s car at a Co-op supermarket before checking the database on the car’s registration in September 2021.

After getting the details of the vehicle’s owner, he followed her on the app.

The panel chair said dismissal was “not a proportional or appropriate outcome”.

The officer, who joined the force in January 2019 after being a special constable for three years, burst into tears at the outcome.

Co-op Wirksworth

Image source, Google

At a misconduct hearing, PC Harrison was given a final written warning, which will be on record for five years, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The officer denied the allegations and said he believed his actions “were within policing standards”.

However, the panel said it concluded that he did carry out the PNC check for a non-policing purpose and that he searched for the woman’s name on Instagram minutes later after the check. This was based on evidence seen on a screenshot of the woman’s phone.

The hearing heard evidence that after the officer followed the woman at the Co-op in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, he sent flame and heart eyes emojis to the same woman’s Instagram.

Panel chair Jayne Salt said PC Harrison had acted with “naivety not cynicism” and – partly because of that – dismissal was appropriate for his actions.

Instagram logo

Image source, Reuters

Ms Salt said the panel had considered the fact that PC Harrison had not followed up his Instagram “follow” by messaging her directly. However, it was heard that he had sent her another emoji to her in December 2021 before deciding to block her.

The misconduct hearing previously heard PC Harrison followed the car because he felt it was “involved with criminality” and claimed the speed was “too fast” when exiting the store.

But the woman, who cannot be named, told the hearing the “weird” events on that day had made her feel uncomfortable and “worried” about her security.

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