Police officers guilty of forming sexual relationships with women on duty

Police officers guilty of forming sexual relationships with women on duty

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serving police officer and a former colleague have been found guilty of having sexual relationships with women they met on duty.

Police Constable Anthony Ritchie and former Pc Steven Darren Walters, both of West Midlands Police (WMP), had sexual relationships with a total of three women, some of whom they met while responding to domestic abuse incidents.

Ritchie, 46, had sex with one woman after arresting her partner and began a sexual relationship with another after trying to arrest her son.

Walters, 55, initiated oral sex with two women, one of whom went on to have a sexual relationship with Ritchie, while responding to domestic abuse incidents in 2013, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said on Monday.

The actions of Pc Ritchie and ex-Pc Walters were quite rightly described as predatory during the trial

Derrick Campbell, IOPC regional director, said: “Abuse of power for sexual gain is a breach of the public’s trust, which seriously undermines confidence in the police service and discredits the profession.

“The actions of Pc Ritchie and ex-Pc Walters were quite rightly described as predatory during the trial and an aggravating feature is that they consistently targeted women who were in vulnerable situations and looking to the police for help.

“Both officers have behaved disgracefully and in Pc Ritchie’s case our investigations established that while he was having a relationship with two women at the same time after meeting them through work, he was also going through a disciplinary procedure for inappropriate text messages sent to another woman he met while on duty.”

The watchdog said Ritchie first began a sexual relationship with a woman who had reported a domestic violence incident in 2014.

The pair were found to have contacted each other on Ritchie’s personal phone and had sex after he arrested the woman’s partner.

The woman then told him she was pressured into oral sex by Walters the year before when he responded to a domestic abuse call.

When different officers attended the same woman’s home for an unrelated incident in 2018, she made disclosures to them, sparking the IOPC investigation.

In May 2021, a second woman said she had been in a sexual relationship with Ritchie in 2014.

Ritchie asked the woman on a date after going to her home to arrest her son, had sex with her on duty and persuaded her to lie to senior officers about how they met after the woman’s son complained.

Then, in November 2021, a third woman complained that Walters initiated oral sex while attending a domestic abuse incident at her partner’s home in 2013.

Both men were both found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of two counts of misconduct in a public office.

The trial, which lasted 12 days, was told Walters was jailed for sexually assaulting two different women in 2015 while on duty, and was dismissed by WMP in 2016 after an IOPC investigation.

The pair were told on Monday by Judge Roderick Henderson that they should expect to be jailed when they are sentenced on September 21.

West Midlands Police has been approached for comment.

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