A police officer has been dismissed from Essex Police following a gross misconduct hearing.

The 45 year-old officer, who was based at Colchester police station, had been working on restricted duties since March 2013.

He was found to have breached conduct regulations in regards to honesty and integrity, and discreditable conduct.

After hearing the details of the case on Wednesday February 19, a decision – that could be subject to appeal – was taken by Mr Mark Gilmartin, Director of Support Services at Essex Police, to dismiss the officer without notice.

The circumstances of the case were that the officer met a vulnerable victim in his policing capacity and engaged in a relationship which was inappropriate.

Mr Gilmartin said: "The seriousness of our findings involving the officer’s relationship with a vulnerable individual and the steps he took to conceal it are significant”

"The public are entitled to expect the very highest standards when dealing with vulnerable individuals who require police help. The officer not only fell far from those standards but behaved in a way which we consider to have been utterly unacceptable and potentially damaging to a woman in a vulnerable situation.”