Gloucestershire Police officer sent racist messages and had wax treatments on duty, hearing told

Police car siren
The hearing heard how the 44-year-old drove a police car to some of his wax treatments. Credit: PA Images

A police officer contacted prostitutes, breached Covid-19 regulations by visiting a beautician for a wax treatment and sent a racist WhatsApp message about a rugby player being raped, a disciplinary hearing has heard. 

PC Christian Fereday, who joined Gloucestershire Police in 2003 and has since quit, accepted much of the case against him at a recent disciplinary hearing but not that it amounted to misconduct or gross misconduct.

The hearing heard how the 44-year-old drove a police car to some of his wax treatments. Two of the six waxing sessions are alleged to have taken place during the lockdowns of November 2020 and March 2021.

He is said to have attended further waxes while off duty in January and February 2021, breaching Covid regulations.

PC Fereday also allegedly "shocked" a detective constable with a grossly offensive racist message about a famous South Africa rugby player.

Stephen Morley, presenting the case for the Appropriate Authority, said PC Fereday was accused of seven allegations which resulted from an investigation launched in February 2021 after concerns were raised about the use of his police mobile phone.

He had sent “flirtatious and inappropriate” messages to a woman who he had met through his job, asking her to send him photographs of herself. “PC Fereday admits sending and receiving messages from her and that it was ‘flirtatious and unprofessional’ and he says he was ‘flattered by the attention’,” Mr Morley said.

Inquiries found the officer had used his mobile phone on duty to access websites to contact sex workers in the Gloucester and south west of England areas, for naked massages.

Mr Morley added: "PC Fereday says he did not intend to do anything, and we say it doesn’t matter because he was on duty and he was looking. He is at work and should be working – not contacting sex workers."

The hearing also heard that on 12 occasions between May 2020 and March 2021 he accessed pornographic sites on his mobile phone while on duty.

Further allegations came to light after the beautician was spoken to by investigators. She confirmed the details of the appointments and examination of data from the police vehicles confirmed some of the sessions lasted between 21 and 37 minutes.

Mr Morley said: “He admits going for waxing appointments while on duty. He said that personal appointments while on duty were not uncommon among his colleagues. He accepts breaching the Covid-19 regulations.

"He breached the standards while on duty and at work. He should be at work and not going for beauty treatments. Going to see a beautician while on or off duty, breaching Covid-19 regulations, would bring the force into disrepute.”

It was further alleged PC Fereday had used his personal mobile phone to send more than 200 emails to his work account about policing matters, which was a breach of data regulations.

The final allegation said he informed a member of the public in October 2019 that someone they knew had been arrested and was in custody.

The officer was facing being charged with breaching the Data Protection Act but received a caution for the offence. Mr Morley said that, taken together, the allegations collectively amounted to gross misconduct.

PC Fereday did not attend the hearing and was not represented.

Chief Constable Rod Hansen found the allegations proven and the breaches amounted to gross misconduct.