A FORMER Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) from Kidderminster has been jailed for a year for forming a sexual relationship with the victim of a crime.

Kevin Hathaway admitted misconduct in a public office dating back to 2018 and was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday (December 2).

The 38-year-old was placed under investigation after Hathaway's former employer West Midlands Police was tipped off the officer was visiting a woman's home, while on late shifts.

The woman had initially reported an attempted burglary, which had left her with "extreme anxiety", the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The force referred Hathaway to the IOPC which launched an investigation, and found more than 2,300 calls and messages on a works device, exchanged between the pair in a one-year period.

Location data from the police vehicles Hathaway used was scrutinised along with analysis of the officer's phone records, and statements taken from witnesses.

In interview, Hathaway accepted flirtatious texts had developed into a sexual relationship with the woman, when he knew that was in breach of the professional code of conduct and apologised for his behaviour.

He resigned from West Midlands Police during the course of the investigation, was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty at the crown court on November 6, before his case was adjourned for sentencing.

Speaking after Hathaway was jailed, Derrick Campbell, IOPC regional director, said: "To maintain trust, police officers and PCSOs must maintain professional boundaries with members of the public.

"Regrettably, Kevin Hathaway chose to abuse the position of trust he was in and has now paid a heavy price.

"I hope this sends a clear message to any officer who misconduct themselves in such a way, that they face serious consequences."

Chief Supt Dave Twyford, head of West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “As a PCSO, Kevin Hathaway had a vital role serving after the community and being a reassuring figure in the streets.

“He abused that position by forming a sexual relationship by with someone he’d met during his duties. During times when he was meant to be working and protecting the public, he was developing an improper sexual relationship with someone he knew he should be not be contacting in a personal capacity.”

“There’s no place in West Midlands Police for those who abuse their position of trust and we make that really clear to all of our officers, PCSOs and staff. Where people breach that trust, we won’t hesitate in taking firm action.

“The boundaries for our staff are clear and they should not be crossed.”