A police officer who was recognised for supporting a victim of domestic abuse has been barred from policing after being found guilty of domestic violence offences.
PC Ian Farmer, of Hertfordshire Police, is unable to serve again after being convicted of two counts of common assault.
In a misconduct report published this month, the county’s police chief Charlie Hall said the original case “has the significant potential to cause reputational harm” to the force.
Farmer, 45, is appealing his convictions that allege he directed violence towards an adult victim while in the presence of a child, the report said.
But Chief Constable Hall said it was “unacceptable” for police officers to breach the law that they must enforce.
“If the facts and the conviction were more widely known by the public, they would undoubtedly reinforce the damage that has been caused to public confidence by police officers, nearly all male, being convicted of such offences,” he said.
Farmer, of Bedfordshire, was sentenced at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on 12 January, where he was handed a community order and made to pay compensation to his victim.
In his report, Chief Constable Hall wrote: “I note PC Farmer has served with the constabulary since 2005 and has an otherwise unblemished service record.
“He has received a Starfish Award during that time for excellent customer service and a good work recognition for supporting a victim of domestic abuse.”
Chief Constable Hall said the offence could impact public confidence in the force.
He added: “PC Farmer has been convicted of an offence involving domestic violence, which is serious and has a particular impact on public confidence given how frequently police have to deal with such cases and how damaging such offending is on the fabric of society.
“The offending has also occurred while a child was present in the house who has been aware of this offending.
“I do however note that although his conviction is for two criminal offences, these have occurred within a short space of time of one another, and this does not appear to have been behaviour repeated beyond that time frame of a few hours,” he wrote.
“These convictions seriously question PC Farmer’s ability to continue to serve as an officer and the confidence the public could have in him to deal with such issues appropriately in the future.
“It is important that I send a clear message to the public and PC Farmer’s colleagues alike that conviction for criminal offences involving domestic violence is not something that can be tolerated within policing.”
The police chief said a final written warning was “insufficient”, instead opting for dismissal without notice, for gross misconduct.
PC Farmer's name was added to the College of Policing barred list.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know