Gross misconduct from Police Officer

From Devon & Cornwall Police:

On Tuesday 23 June PC Richard Hosken-Johns, a former serving police officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, was subject to an independent misconduct hearing which determined that his actions amounted to gross misconduct by breaching the standard of professional behaviour expected from a police officer.

These proceedings took place following a three year investigation into a number of allegations, including that PC Hosken-Johns had undertaken inappropriate sexual relationships with three women, including two women who considered to be vulnerable, who he met in his capacity as a police officer. It had also been alleged that he had told two of the women to lie if their relationships with him were ever questioned.

Following the public hearing, the panel concluded that all the allegations discussed in relation to the women were proved, including that the officer had abused his position to enter in to a sexual relationship whilst on duty with two women who he knew to be vulnerable, he failed to maintain self-control, he had sex on duty, he made disparaging remarks to the women in relation to his work colleagues, he absented himself from the workplace and therefore neglected his duty.

PC Hosken-Johns resigned prior to the hearing and as such the hearing was held under the former officer regulations. The panel determined that had he still been a serving officer the outcome would have been dismissal without notice. His details will now be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing him from working within policing for a minimum of five years.

Deputy Chief Constable, Paul Netherton said: “Devon and Cornwall Police take any reports of abuse of position for sexual gain very seriously. The vast majority of our officers and staff go to work every day and work diligently to help the public and keep them safe from harm. However PC Hosken-Johns deliberately took advantage of these women at a time when they were considered as vulnerable and approached the police for help and support.

“This type of behaviour has undoubtedly significantly eroded the women’s trust and confidence in policing. I hope that the positive stance we have taken goes some way to regaining their trust and confidence. This type of behaviour is highly damaging to our reputation and there is no place for it in policing the communities we serve.

DCC Netherton continued: “If you suspect a member of the Force is abusing their position, e.g. engaging in or pursuing an emotional or sexual relationship with a victim of crime or a witness or contacting you or someone you know whilst off duty or via personal telephone numbers, then please report your concerns to Devon and Cornwall Police.”

Reports of concern can be reported to Devon and Cornwall Police by calling 101 or emailing

Alternatively members of the public can contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – details of which can be found via their website or anonymously via the CrimeStoppers charity online at or freephone 0800 555 111.

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