Police officer sent explicit images of himself in uniform to vulnerable woman

Alexander Alderson has been placed on a barred list preventing him from serving in policing again. Credit: LDRS

A former police officer who engaged in sexual activity with a vulnerable woman he met online has been barred from policing.

Alexander Alderson, who was a former police constable based in Weston-super-Mare, engaged in consensual sexual activity with the woman while off-duty, in which he acted out a rape scenario with her agreement.

An accelerated misconduct hearing was held in front of Chief Constable Sarah Crew on Tuesday 26 March, which found his behaviour had amounted to gross misconduct.

Avon and Somerset Police said he would have been dismissed if he hadn’t already resigned. He will now be placed on a barred list preventing him from serving in policing or other law enforcement agencies again.

An investigation was launched after concerns were raised by a third party in December 2022. Alexander Alderson was identified as the officer and was suspended from duty in February 2023. He resigned three months later.

The investigation found Alderson also sent the woman sexually explicit images of himself while in uniform, which were taken inside a police station. He also sent social media messages to her which were derogatory and misogynistic.

In reaching the decision, the Chief Constable said: “The former officer’s conduct was intentional.

"He made an intentional decision to engage online, to go to her home and to engage in Consensual Non-Consensual sexual activity with her and to persist in sending sexually explicit messages and images to her after she had disclosed her vulnerabilities to him.

“Misconduct involving violence, intimidation and sexual impropriety is invariably serious and, can significantly undermine public trust in the policing profession.

"Seriousness is exacerbated where the subject of an officer’s behaviour is a vulnerable person.

"The former officer could be in no doubt that she was vulnerable, from his training as a police officer but also from the disclosures she made to him.

“Violence against women and girls refers to acts of violence and abuse that are known to disproportionately affect women.

"These acts span a continuum of behaviour ranging from verbal abuse and harassment to serious sexual assault and murder.

"They are invariably driven by misogyny, whether consciously or unconsciously. Any such acts perpetrated by a police officer, whether on duty or off duty, will always have a high degree of culpability, with the likely outcome being severe.”

The Chief Constable said the former officer’s conduct would “cause significant damage to public confidence” in the police, adding that “the confidence of women and girls is likely to be particularly harmed”.

In an impact statement, read out during the hearing, the victim said: “He (Alderson) should know better. He is trained to identify people that are damaged and abused, and he should protect people. Instead of protecting me, he used me. He was happy to use another human being for his own sexual gain.”

Assistant Chief Constable, Joanne Hall, said: “This former officer’s actions were disgraceful and abhorrent, exacerbated by the fact he knew the woman to be vulnerable and he failed to safeguard her.

"He’s grossly betrayed the values and standards of behaviour expected of him, and as a result he’s now barred from holding a position in policing and law enforcement again.

“He hasn’t just let down the public he took an oath to serve and protect, he’s let down the vast majority of officers and staff who embody our values and work tirelessly every day to keep people safe.

“The public should be assured that we are committed to rooting out those who have no place in policing.

“We encourage all our staff to call out any inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour, whether they see it, hear it, or are informed about it by a third party, and we have confidential reporting systems in place to allow them to do this.”

The public can now contact a new Police Anti-Corruption and Abuse Reporting Service, where they can anonymously or confidentially report corruption, abuse, or criminality within policing. This is being run by the independent charity Crimestoppers.