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Former Cheshire PCSO jailed for misconduct in public office

A former Cheshire Constabulary Police Community Support Officer has been jailed for eight months following an Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation.

We investigated the actions of Philip Barber, aged 37, following allegations that he abused his position for sexual purpose following his contact with two women whilst on duty in October 2018. He resigned from the force in December 2018.

We completed our investigation in August 2019, and referred our evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who made the decision to charge the officer in February this year.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office and was sentenced on 7 August at Chester Crown Court.

On 18 October 2018 Cheshire Constabulary received a report from a member of the public regarding the former PCSO’s conduct. He was arrested the following day, and the matter referred to the IOPC.

Our investigation found that, following a report of anti-social behaviour by one of the women in October 2018, Philip Barber visited her home several times a week, and attempted to kiss her on one occasion before he was asked to leave. He also sent photographs of himself and text messages of a sexual nature to her mobile phone. The woman complied with his visits in the belief that this was a working relationship, and her complaint was being dealt with.

During the investigation, the force provided an audit of the former PCSO’s use of police systems. This confirmed his contact with a second woman, who later disclosed that she had received communications of a sexual nature, and had sex with him whilst he was on duty.

IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe: “Philip Barber abused his position for sexual purpose on multiple occasions, which is a grievous breach of professional standards.

“The evidence we gathered was so overwhelming that he pleaded guilty to his crimes which fortunately spared his victims having to relive their experiences in open court. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for assisting with this investigation.

“The vast majority of police officers and staff are hardworking and professional, but I hope this sends a clear message to the small minority who act corruptly that they will face the serious consequences of their actions.”

This information is also available via the IOPC website: https://policeconduct.gov.uk/news/former-cheshire-pcso-jailed-misconduct-public-office

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