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Probationer jailed for misconduct in public office after pestering arrestee

PC Oliver Binns continued to try and contact woman despite being blocked by her

A probationer who made contact with a woman he had arrested the day before in order to have a relationship with her has been sentenced to seven months in prison for misconduct in a public office.

Northamptonshire PC Oliver Binns, 25 had resigned from the force when he was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court.

The investigation, conducted by the Northamptonshire Police Counter Corruption Unit under IOPC direction, found PC Binns had contacted the woman the day after being involved in her arrest in September 2020. An assessment of phone data found he sent a number of flirtatious and sexually explicit messages and pictures to the woman via Snapchat and continued to do so under different accounts despite being blocked by her.

During his interview with investigators, he admitted to also searching for the woman on Facebook and Instagram. Investigators also found that PC Binns had tried to keep his messages with the woman a secret by asking her to keep things “between us” and asking the texts were sent “no further”.   

The CPS authorised a charge of corrupt/improper exercise of police powers and privileges by a constable contrary to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This was later amended to a charge of misconduct in public office.

IOPC Director of Major Investigations, Steve Noonan said: “The directed investigation concluded the officer in this case abused his position and actively pursued an inappropriate and sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman who he had assisted in arresting only a day earlier. 

“We hope this sentence acts as a deterrent to any officer who looks to put their own sexual gain ahead of the welfare of a member of a public.”

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