A serving Staffordshire Police detective used a force computer to track down a woman and strike a relationship following a crash.
Detective Constable Nicholas Pointon met the woman at a minor collision in March 2019 before using the force computer system to track her down.
The 49-year-old allegedly turned up at her home address and struck up a six-month relationship.
An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation discovered 1,000 messages between the pair had been deleted from his work phone and other devices.
A pocket notebook entry relating to him accessing force computer systems, when he had no policing purpose to do so, was found to have been altered after it had been signed off by a supervising officer.
The IOPC investigation also heard Mr Pointon took a police car and took an unauthorised absence to visit the woman.
Staffordshire Police and the IOPC agreed that Mr Pointon, who worked in the regional organised crime unit, had a case to answer regarding gross misconduct.
An independent panel yesterday (December 3) decided Mr Pointon’s actions did indeed mount to gross misconduct and he was dismissed without notice.
As well as being sacked from Staffordshire Police, he will be placed on a list of former officers who are now barred from policing.
IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “The officer abused his authority and misused police computer systems to pursue a relationship with the woman, then attempted to cover his tracks.
“The panel found DC Pointon’s conduct to be predatory and said his attempt to divert blame over the false pocket book entry by attacking the integrity of an innocent colleague, was an aggravating feature of the case.
“His behaviour has no place in policing and the force’s response to our investigation, along with the panel’s decision, shows that such actions will not be tolerated.”
Staffordshire Police today said Mr Pointon fell ‘far short’ of what the public can expect from serving officers.
Deputy Chief Constable Emma Barnett, said: “DC Pointon clearly and persistently set out to pursue a member of the public who he came into contact during the course of his duties, abusing his position to try to form a relationship.
“The public expects police officers to maintain exemplary standards of contact, integrity and professionalism and DC Pointon fell far short of this and undermined trust and confidence in policing so it is right that he is dismissed from the service.”