Devon and Cornwall police officer had sexual relationship with 'vulnerable victim of crime'

David Hoar was a police constable with Devon and Cornwall Police

A former Devon and Cornwall Police Constable has been found guilty of gross misconduct after he had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable victim of crime.

PC David Hoar first met the woman in July 2018 when he was appointed as an officer in her case.

A disciplinary hearing this month heard how Mr Hoar had deleted evidence from his mobile phone before he was interviewed by the Professional Standards Department in August 2019.

During an interview, he then lied and denied having a sexual relationship with the woman.

Mr Hoar then bought another mobile phone and used it to continue to contact the woman and met up with her in August 2019.

The panel also heard how, more than two years later, he re-instigated contact with the woman between October and November 2021. 

Mr Hoar told the hearing, which concluded on 11 October, that the relationship remained professional while he was the investigating officer in the case and became sexual after it had concluded in August 2018. 

A panel, led by independent legally-qualified chair Mr David Sapiecha, found that the actions of Mr Hoar had fallen below the expected standards of professional behaviour.

The hearing in Exeter, which concluded on 11 October, found the ex-PC was in breach of professional standards after he admitted a number of allegations.

The panel said that had Mr Hoar still been a serving officer, he would have been dismissed.

Head of professional standards, DS Paul Kessell, said: “The actions of this former officer were clearly unacceptable. 

“We will always take the appropriate action when standards fall below those expected and continue to learn from any instances.

“The overwhelming majority of our officers and staff work diligently to help to keep the public safe, uphold our high standards and provide an exceptional service to our communities.

"Through his actions, the former officer undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the police force and did not fulfil his duties and responsibilities.

“If anyone suspects a member of the force is abusing their position then please report your concerns to us.”

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker added: “Devon and Cornwall Police takes any reports of inappropriate conduct extremely seriously.

“All officers and staff are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics and ensure the highest standards of behaviour, both on and off duty.

“We are committed to building trust and confidence which includes an unequivocal focus on allegations of police misconduct.

“Any behaviour of this kind, especially when it involves a person who is vulnerable and has approached police for help and support, will not be tolerated.

“We ensure that reports are investigated fully and quickly and will always take action when standards fall below those expected.”​

Mr Hoar's details will be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing him from working in policing.