Hemel PCSO sentenced over sex messages to vulnerable women

A PCSO who sent numerous inappropriate messages to vulnerable women has been handed a six-month prison sentence and dismissed from the police.

Julian Randall-Stratton, aged 45, from Hemel Hempstead, appeared before Luton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) after being found guilty of one count of misconduct in public office on Tuesday, July 16.

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He was given a six month sentence suspended for 18 months, and he must abide by an electronic curfew between 7pm and 7am for three months.

The court previously 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 through his work in Dacorum.

In some cases, he obtained the women’s details and made contact with them after they reported a crime.

He proceeded to send flirtatious messages and photographs to them via WhatsApp and social media platforms.

He also gave some of the victims’ lifts, got them to try on his uniform, took photographs of them and on one occasion insisted on buying two of them breakfast.

The court heard how four victims, one of whom was only 17 years old at the time, were uncomfortable with Randall-Stratton’s behaviour but did not feel they could challenge it.

The incidents first came to light in March 2018 after 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.

After his conviction Randall-Stratton remained suspended from Hertfordshire Constabulary and on Tuesday 20 August, an internal misconduct hearing was held in his absence. As a result, the decision was made to dismiss him from the force with immediate effect.

Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Dunn said: “I would like to first pay tribute to the victims, who have shown courage and dignity throughout this case. I want to reassure the public that we will not tolerate any abuse of authority.

“We know the vast majority of our officers and staff display exemplary standards of conduct while both on and off duty. They are utterly dismayed by the actions of their former colleague whose conduct has damaged public trust and confidence.

“Julian Randall-Stratton’s behaviour has greatly undermined the vitally important work carried out by our police officers and staff every single day. He has no place within Hertfordshire Constabulary.”

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 elizabeth.slaughter@herts.pnn.police.uk

Alternatively you can report information anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or using their online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org