'Predatory' Staffordshire detective dismissed over inappropriate relationship

A Staffordshire Police detective has been dismissed after he used a force computer to pursue an inappropriate relationship with a woman he met while on duty.

Detective Constable Nicholas Pointon, 49, was investigated after allegations that he had accessed a police computer to find the address of a woman he had been involved in a minor road collision with in March 2019. He then turned up at her home unannounced.

He pursued an inappropriate relationship with her over the following six months, after which the data from 1,000 messages they exchanged was deleted from his work phone and other electronic devices.

DC Pointon's dismissal follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

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A pocket notebook entry relating to him accessing force computer systems, when he had no policing purpose to do so, was found to have been altered after it had been signed off by a supervising officer.

The force agreed with the IOPC's conclusion that DC Pointon had a case to answer for gross misconduct for breaching professional standards of authority, respect and courtesy, confidentiality, discreditable conduct, duties and responsibilities and of honesty and integrity.

Barred

After a disciplinary hearing organised by Staffordshire Police, which finished yesterday, an independently chaired panel found six of the seven allegations against him proven and dismissed him from the force without notice.

He will now be placed on a list of former officers who are barred from working for the police service in the future.

IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “The officer abused his authority and misused police computer systems to pursue a relationship with the woman, then attempted to cover his tracks. The panel found DC Pointon’s conduct to be predatory and said his attempt to divert blame over the false pocket book entry by attacking the integrity of an innocent colleague, was an aggravating feature of the case.

“His behaviour has no place in policing and the force’s response to our investigation, along with the panel’s decision, shows that such actions will not be tolerated.”

Following a referral from Staffordshire Police, the IOPC carried out a seven-month investigation which was completed in May this year. During the investigation the IOPC collated and analysed extensive telecommunications data. They interviewed DC Pointon and also gathered and reviewed statements from police and independent witnesses.

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