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North Yorkshire officer jailed for coercive and controlling behaviour

A former officer has been jailed after he was found guilty of coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking.

Michael Parker, 28, was an operational officer with North Yorkshire at the time of the offences.

He had developed a relationship with a colleague during their initial training as police officers. However, he then began controlling his partners’ behaviour – telling her what to do and where to go. He bombarded her with text messages, phone calls and radio messages. He demanded that she tell him where she is and who she is with. 

His partner attempted to end the relationship, but Parker told her that the relationship would not end until he said so. 

Colleagues reported concerns to the force’s Professional Standards Department after witnessing Parker’s behaviour towards her and noticing that she was completing much of his work.

He was arrested in November 2020 and suspended by the force. An investigation found excessive amounts of messages on the force’s radio system between the pair and mobile phone records revealed messages of a coercive and controlling nature.

Following a two week trial he was found guilty by jury and has now been sentenced to five years imprisonment in addition to being given a 10 year restraining order.

His sentence comprises two years and six months for each offence to run consecutively.

He had resigned from the force prior to being sentenced.

Misconduct proceedings will now move forward. 

Deputy Chief Constable Mabs Hussain said: “There is absolutely no place for this behaviour in the police service. We demand the highest level of integrity from our officers and staff to ensure that the people we serve can have complete trust in us.

“I hope the case also reassures the public that we treat offending by our own staff no different to anyone else. No matter who you are or where you work, we will take action and secure justice for such crimes.

“I must also acknowledge the officers who worked with PC Parker, recognised that his behaviour was abusive and raised their concerns through our internal reporting channels. It can be a difficult thing to do, but they did not hesitate to do the right thing.”

In June, a report was published by the College, HMICFRS and the IOPC following an investigation into Police Perpetrated Domestic Abuse. It found “systemic deficiencies” in the way some forces investigate allegations of this kind.

As a response, recommendations made include that chief constables should audit live PPDA cases and those closed within the last 12 months. 

PCCs, the MoJ and chief constables will also need to ensure provision of support services and guidance meets the specific needs of victims and forces need to have plans in place to ensure cases are investigation by someone with no prior connection to anyone involved - which may include transferring to another force. 

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