Police officer who worked in Bath sacked and barred for sleeping with sex worker with links to organised crime
By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporter
22nd Sep 2022 | Local News
An Avon & Somerset police officer who used the services of a sex worker with links to organised crime has been sacked.
PC Kelly Norris was dismissed without notice and barred from the profession following a misconduct hearing before Chief Constable Sarah Crew.
The constabulary's top officer ruled that PC Norris breached standards of conduct; honesty and integrity; and authority, respect and courtesy, and that this amounted to gross misconduct.
The hearing at force headquarters in Portishead on Friday, September 16, was told that the officer, based in Bath, reported himself to his supervisor after realising he had previously seen the police record of a sex worker he slept with.
Chief Constable Crew said afterwards: "We in policing know that sex workers are often vulnerable victims of exploitation, control and physical and sexual violence.
"Our role as police officers is to work with partner agencies to try to keep vulnerable people safe and signpost to support services.
"PC Norris is aware of these vulnerabilities yet he has chosen to engage sex workers more than once.
"He also knew the potential for sex workers to be linked with organised crime groups and should have realised the risk this posed to his integrity as a police officer.
"The public will be shocked to hear of a police officer paying for sexual services.
"It is wholly unacceptable. Our communities understand that the police should be protecting women and vulnerable people, and that the officer's integrity could be compromised.
"There is no place for such behaviour in Avon & Somerset Police.
"The conduct is so serious and so injurious to public confidence in the police service that nothing less than dismissal without notice can suffice."
PC Norris will also be placed on the barred list, preventing him from joining the police service again.
In her ruling, the Chief Constable said: "I consider the conduct intentional, repeated, and I have concluded that the officer knew the conduct was wrong but continued anyway.
"The officer has provided evidence of mental ill-health.
"However, I have noted in his submissions that he does not use it as an excuse for his behaviour.
"In conclusion, I find the conduct of PC Norris extremely serious, and I believe that a well-informed member of the public would reach the same conclusion."
Chief Constable Crew said she considered the fact that the conduct took place off duty but that every police officer accepted certain restrictions on their privacy, and he had chosen to disclose what happened to the force.