London City police officer Dismissed Over WhatsApp date invite to ‘vulnerable’ woman

PC Thomas Perkins Faces Dismissal Over Inappropriate Advances

An Officer’s Unwanted Pursuit

PC Thomas Perkins encountered a woman who had aided a vulnerable girl with mental health issues in seeking police assistance in September of the previous year. During this incident, he collected her phone number. Approximately six weeks later, he sent an unsolicited WhatsApp invitation for a meeting in south London, close to his residence.

Expressing his intentions, Perkins conveyed, “I thought you were very kind and generous with your support that day with the quiet one who needed help and would like to do something nice for you back.” He further proposed, “Can I invite you to (a part of London) for lunch at a cute Bill’s and walk in the park.”

Persistent Pursuit Despite Uncertainty

In response to the unexpected message, the woman queried, “Sorry who are you?” However, Perkins persisted, stating, “Oh dear I’m sorry. It’s been too long maybe. At the beginning of September you helped a young girl who was unable to talk, and I am the last copper who came (also with quite an abrupt female colleague, sorry about that!). I remember your kindness.”

Sacked for Gross Misconduct

Perkins faced repercussions for his actions as he was reported over these texts and subsequently appeared before a disciplinary hearing. The hearing concluded that he should be dismissed for gross misconduct. His attempts to date the woman, using personal details obtained through his policing duties, and his attempt to establish an “emotional connection” were cited as key factors in his dismissal.

Impact of Sarah Everard Case

Drawing parallels to the tragic case of Wayne Couzens, a Met Police officer who raped and murdered Sarah Everard after meeting her on duty, the panel noted that the woman contacted by Perkins had felt “very vulnerable.” In light of such incidents, any approach for emotional engagement by an officer with a woman they had encountered during a police investigation was deemed highly inappropriate.

A Breach of Trust and Public Confidence

The panel firmly rejected Perkins’ claim that his actions constituted only misconduct, emphasizing that he had misused personal information acquired through his professional role and had made a disparaging comment about a colleague. His actions brought discredit to the police force and undermined public confidence in it.

As a result, PC Thomas Perkins was dismissed for gross misconduct and will be added to the list of former officers prohibited from rejoining the police indefinitely. Detective Superintendent Claire Cresswell from the City of London Police Professional Standards Department stressed the importance of maintaining professional standards and behavior that aligns with public expectations.

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