‘Disgraceful’ cops sacked after taking explicit snaps of woman in patrol car

Two "disgraceful" police officers who took explicit images of a woman in a patrol car while on duty have been found guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Mark Crompton, 36, and his colleague PC Ben Pitelen, 45, took photos in the vehicle and at her home over the span of five days between December 2012 and January 2013 – but they only came to light last year.

One of the photographs, taken by Crompton inside the woman's home, showed Pitelan in uniform next to the woman who was half naked, as misconduct hearing heard.

The officers, who did not have a legitimate policing purpose to stop at the woman's home, also encouraged her to use a sex toy.

In a statement, the woman in the images claimed she was unable remember the images in the car but said that she had later met Crompton socially.

Crompton had worked at the armed policing unit at Luton Airport from 2019 and had been in the profession for 18 years.

The images were found after an investigation was launched into Pitelen for making indecent images of children.

The officers was branded "disgraceful and outrageous” by Chief Constable Charlie Hall as they were found guilty of gross misconduct during a Hertfordshire Constabulary disciplinary panel hearing.

Hall added: "Although this occurred some years ago, it is still damaging today and raises questions among the public."

Pitelen was sentenced to 25 months' imprisonment on February 4 after he pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children.

More than 500 indecent images of children on his devices.

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In a police report, Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: "The actions of PC Pitelen have been far removed from those expected of a professional police officer.

"His actions undermine confidence in policing and its reputation, he has fallen very short of acceptable standards and failed to protect the public.

"Considering the purpose of these misconduct proceedings there is no other reasonable or acceptable outcome that I can reach in this case other than to sanction PC Pitelen with dismissal without notice.

"Nothing else would be an acceptable outcome in such a serious case for either the public or the police service itself."

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