A FORMER police officer would have been sacked if he had not resigned after he was found to have had a sexual relationship with a victim.

Essex Police officer Simon Jones behaved inappropriately towards two women, who he came into contact with during the course of his policing duties between September 2018 and December 2018.

Following an Independent Office of Police Conduct investigation, he was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour, amounting to gross misconduct.

His behaviour included conducting a personal and sexual relationship with a victim of crime and sending personal and sexual text messages to another victim of crime.

A misconduct hearing panel, led by legally qualified chairman Harry Ireland, ruled on Monday that PC Jones' actions breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct and amounted to gross misconduct.

The former officer, who did not attend the hearing at Chelmsford Civic Centre, had been based in Braintree.

It was decided that Simon Jones would have been dismissed, if he hadn't resigned last month.

Following the hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan said: “Simon Jones’ behaviour was completely unacceptable.

"He abused his position as a police officer to pursue a personal and sexual relationship with two different victims of crimes.

"These two women needed our help and support and Mr Jones took advantage of their vulnerability in order to form personal relationships with them.

"We expect the highest professional standards from all our officers and staff, and when behaviour fall below those standards, we take the appropriate action.

"The vast majority of our officers and staff are professional and diligent and they work hard every day to protect people, keep them safe and catch criminals.

"Behaviour such as that from Mr Jones undermines the good work of all those people and will not be tolerated and therefore he would have been dismissed if he hadn't resigned."