A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) who sent inappropriate messages to female members of the public has been found guilty of one count of misconduct in public office.
Julian Randall-Stratton, aged 45, from Hemel Hempstead, appeared at Luton Crown Court for trial after pleading not guilty. He was convicted yesterday (July 16) and will be sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday August 27.
The court heard that Randall-Stratton served on Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted from October 2012 up until his suspension in May 2018. Prior to joining Hertfordshire Constabulary, Randall-Stratton had served as a PCSO in Wiltshire Police since 2007.
Between January 2017 and April 2018, he made inappropriate contact with women he met while on patrol in Dacorum. He sent them flirtatious messages and photographs via WhatsApp and social media platforms.
He also gave them lifts, got them to try on his uniform, took photographs of them and on one occasion insisted on buying two of the victims breakfast. The court heard how four victims, one of whom was only 17 years old at the time, felt uncomfortable with Randall-Stratton’s behaviour.
The incidents came to light in March 2018 when one of the victims contacted the police. As soon as Hertfordshire Constabulary was made aware of the allegation, Randall-Stratton was arrested and released under investigation.
Following this, he was given restricted duties and prohibited from interacting with the public whilst the investigation progressed.
The investigation subsequently found further inappropriate contact had been made with more victims, some of whom were vulnerable, and at this stage he was suspended from duty.
Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson said: “Abuse of position by police officers or staff is never acceptable as it causes harm or distress to the very people we should be protecting and keeping safe.
“Julian Randall-Stratton's conduct fell woefully short of the high standards of integrity and behaviour the public rightly expect from their police service. His conviction demonstrates that Hertfordshire Constabulary actively roots out misconduct and will press criminal charges where appropriate, or instigate internal disciplinary procedures.
“The vast majority of our officers and staff display the very highest standards of conduct while both on and off duty.
"They are dismayed by the actions of their former colleague whose conduct has damaged the trust and confidence the public should have in their police service.
“Please be assured that there is no place for such behaviour here in Hertfordshire Constabulary.”
During the trial, the prosecution withdrew one count of misconduct relating to Randall-Stratton’s alleged misuse of police computer systems due to lack of evidence.
He remains suspended from Hertfordshire Constabulary and internal misconduct procedures are underway.
If you have any information about this or any other offences please contact DS Liz Slaughter in the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Professional Standards Department at Biggleswade Police Station on 01234 842502 or email@example.com
Alternatively you can report information anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or using their online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org