Bedfordshire police officer set up fake dating profile to target his ex

Although he has resigned, he would have been dismissed over actions

Monday, 20th December 2021, 11:33 am
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 11:34 am

A police officer committed gross misconduct for setting up a fake online dating profile so he could message his ex-partner.

PC Mark Bellwood used images from his colleague’s private Facebook account to set up the profile as he wanted to establish why the relationship had ended.

The matter was reported to the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Professional Standards Department which assessed the incident as a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour, namely discreditable conduct; honesty and integrity; authority, respect and courtesy.

PC Bellwood admitted committing gross misconduct

PC Bellwood admitted the conduct and handed in his resignation ahead of a fast-track hearing chaired by Chief Constable Garry Forsyth on Friday (December 17).

He was found to have committed gross misconduct and would have been dismissed without notice had he not already resigned. He will also be placed on a barred list.

Mr Forsyth said: "The public rightly have huge expectations of our police officers. They, and specifically women and girls, need to have the confidence to report behaviour to the police.

"PC Bellwood’s behaviour was such a gross departure from the standards required, and expected, that his continued service in any form with any sanction less than one imposed would be severely detrimental to public trust and confidence in policing."