Bedfordshire Police officer dismissed for sexual assault

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A suspended Bedfordshire Police officer has been dismissed for gross misconduct after a panel ruled he had sexually assaulted two women.

PC Mitchell Sharp was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour on Friday (30 September) following a four-day public misconduct hearing.

PC Sharp had previously been cleared of sexual assault following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court, but was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to the incident, and a further sexual assault on a second woman.

The standard of proof for conduct is measured on the balance of probability, rather than beyond reasonable doubt, hence he faced a misconduct hearing despite being acquitted at court.

The panel were told PC Sharp had assaulted one woman after he attended a barbecue with friends while off duty. A police colleague at the party witnessed him kissing and touching a woman over her clothes while she appeared to be incapacitated through drink.

After the incident came to light, a further victim came forward to report PC Sharp had sexually assaulted her in 2019 and had then subjected her to further advances despite her repeatedly saying no.

He was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct and his actions amounted to gross misconduct. He was immediately dismissed.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Sharn Basra said: “Mitchell Sharp’s conduct throughout these incidents was totally unacceptable, particularly the predatory attempts of sexual contact with two women who were not consenting.

“Our recently launched Male Violence Against Women and Girls strategy is committed to stamping out such behaviour both within our force and in society, but it must start from within, and this movement must come from men ourselves.

“Our force is working hard to combat sexual misconduct and is committed to the relentless pursuit of all perpetrators of sexual offences.”

Sharp had been immediately removed from frontline policing following the allegation and was subsequently suspended.

Bedfordshire Police’s approach to combatting Male Violence Against Women and Girls sets out a strategy to pursue perpetrators by improving the quality of investigations, make public spaces safer for women and girls through joint working with partners, and improving trust and confidence in policing by reviewing internal reporting mechanisms and ensuring the effective support of victims.

If you have been a victim of sexual violence, you can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies, including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.

Reports of sexual assault, even if non-recent, can be made to the police by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

You can also contact Bedfordshire’s Sexual SARC the Emerald Centre, by visiting the Emerald Centre or by emailing, or alternatively calling 01234 842750.

If you have been affected by crime, the Signpost Hub offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.

Contact 0800 0282887 or visit Victim Care Services for further information.

 
 
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