Police officer 'had contact details for hundreds of sex workers' saved on phone

Generic view of Gwent Police
-Credit: (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

A former officer who attempted to contact hundreds of people believed to be involved in sex work would have been dismissed from the police had he not already resigned. Ex-PC Paolo Goharjouy of Gwent Police did not attend an accelerated gross misconduct hearing on Monday, July 8 in person.

At the hearing, he was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for "discreditable conduct". The hearing related to six allegations which occurred between Sunday 30 April 2023 and Thursday 26 October 2023.

All allegations against the officer were admitted and found as proven at the hearing. These included the former officer sending 57 text messages, as well as making one phone call, to numbers belonging to sex workers and possessing 629 contacts in his phone who were known or strongly suspected to be sex workers.

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Assistant Chief Constable Nick McLain, the chair of the hearing panel, said: “Officers work to combat the exploitation of the most vulnerable people in society, which often includes those involved with sex work. The behaviour of this former officer is disgraceful and shows a complete lack of understanding of how police officers should conduct themselves whether on or off duty.

“It is actions such as this which can discredit policing in the eyes of the public and undermine their confidence in the service. The vast majority of our officers, staff and volunteers at Gwent Police work tirelessly to keep their communities safe and uphold the professional standards of behaviour that the public rightfully expects of them.

“Although he resigned at an early stage, we have rightly held these proceedings to hold the former officer to account, and we will not accept the conduct shown by this former officer in our service.” Gwent Police said the former officer had resigned prior to the hearing and he will shortly be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list. Join our WhatsApp news community here for the latest breaking news