Ex-Essex Police officer 'lied about army service' including tour in Afghanistan

·2-min read
Ex-Essex Police officer 'lied about army service' including tour in Afghanistan <i>(Image: PA / Newsquest)</i>
Ex-Essex Police officer 'lied about army service' including tour in Afghanistan (Image: PA / Newsquest)

A former Essex Police officer has been found to have committed gross misconduct over inappropriate behaviour and "lying about service in the armed forces".

Former PC Matthew Lawrence-Stearn, who was a probationary officer, had been accused of inappropriate behaviour and making inappropriate comments to fellow students while going through training between August and November 2021.

This included sexualised behaviour and comments towards female colleagues.

It was also alleged he had lied about a tour in Afghanistan and working in Kabul as part of the armed forces.

The force says he had joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron but did not complete his training and left after 35 days having never been deployed.

An Essex Police misconduct hearing took place via Microsoft Teams between March 13 and 14.

The panel, led by Independent Legally Qualified Chair Monica Daley-Campbell, found the allegations were proven and Former PC Lawrence-Stearn would have been dismissed had he still been serving.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “We expect the highest standards of professional behaviour from all officers and staff and take a robust approach in dealing with any allegation of poor conduct.

“Former PC Matthew Lawrence-Stearn’s behaviour fall well below the standards we expect.

“Essex Police is committed to tackling all forms of violence, intimidation and inappropriate behaviour against women and girls and the former officer’s behaviour was utterly unacceptable.

“The behaviour was further compounded by his dishonesty.

“We do not want people who display this kind of behaviour and he was a student probationer who never made it to policing our communities.

“I want to thank those who reported his inappropriate behaviour for their integrity and professionalism.

“We encourage anyone to report something that’s not right as fast as possible and it’s really important that they do so.

“I want officers and staff to have the confidence to report things and have an anonymous system for doing so.”

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