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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Detective Constable sacked for looking up details of domestic abuse victim

Written by Flora Thompson

A Detective Constable has been sacked for looking up information on a domestic abuse victim for her partner's friend who turned out to be a suspect in the case.

Jessica Hamer carried out the search on a police station computer when she was a police constable while a colleague was away from the desk but still logged in, Kent Police said at a misconduct hearing.

Ms Hamer, who joined the force in 2001, denied gross misconduct and breaching professional standards of behaviour but was sacked on Wednesday evening after a panel deliberated the evidence, a police spokesman confirmed.

Kent Police said said she accessed the woman's name, address and crime report - which showed her boyfriend's friend was listed as a suspect - just before 2pm on August 11, 2014, at Margate Police Station while she was on duty and there was no policing reason for the search.

Her then boyfriend reported her after their relationship broke down. She also pressured him to drop the statement, the hearing at force headquarters in Maidstone was told.

Her former partner - only identified as "Mr A" when he attended to give evidence - said he came forward to "do the right thing".

He said a friend asked if he could help track down an ex-partner so he asked Ms Hamer for a "favour" but not to get herself "in trouble".

He added: "I later found out it was a [breach of responsibility]."

He denied knowing there had been a domestic incident between the pair and said Ms Hamer told him she found a "marker" on the case so could not look into the matter further and did not provide the information.

She said she had used someone else's computer so there would be "no paper trail" back to her, he told the hearing on Monday.

Kevin Baumber, defending Ms Hamer, accused him of carrying out a "character assassination" with a "splatter gun" approach of a string of "speculative complaints" to see "which one stuck".

Mr A, who claimed he was the subject of domestic abuse, harassment, coercive behaviour and was "frightened" of Ms Hamer, said: "I don't think she should be a police officer. I was under the thumb and controlled. I wouldn't put anything past her.

"I don't think people who abuse their position should be in a job of authority."

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