A police officer has been fired for abandoning his duty to have sex during his shift.

Police Constable Ian Dawson was working for Northumbria Police when the incident took place in 2020. A misconduct hearing into the case heard that Dawson asked a woman if she would like to meet up while he was still on duty.

He then drove to her house, picked her up, and went to a supermarket parking lot to have sex in the back of his police van. He then went back to drop her off at home.

The officer has not only been fired but has also been banned from the police force for life. He also admitted to having a sexual relationship with a colleague.

"He was on duty in a police uniform, in a marked police van, when he collected Ms A from her house in the police vehicle and drove her to a supermarket car park," the hearing was told.

The incident took place when restrictions due to COVID-19 were very much in place, which implies that he also broke protocol despite being a police officer.

The hearing was being overseen by Northumbria Police's Chief Constable Winton Keenen who has acknowledged that Dawson should have been protecting the public, according to a report in The Telegraph.

"There is an understandable expectation of the public that police officers will act at all times in ways that do not discredit the public service to which they dedicate their working lives," said Keenen.

Dawson, in his defence, claimed that he was suffering from poor mental health at the time of the incident but did not provide any evidence to support his claims.

He was sacked without notice for gross misconduct and placed on the Royal College of Policing's barred list. The accelerated hearing took place at Newcastle's Middle Engine Lane Police Station on December 20 last year.

The incident comes in the backdrop of the police force in the UK seeing increased scrutiny after a Metropolitan Police office pleaded guilty to 49 offences, including 20 counts of rape. The Met Police has even launched an investigation into the claims involving over 1,000 of its officers.

It is reviewing a total of 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers. The review covers complaints made within the past 10 years.

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