A Hampshire police officer has been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

The officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sacked after being found to have had relationships with vulnerable women he met during his police work, and had misused their contact details in doing so. He was also accused of trying to set up a date with a woman he met at an incident.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which investigates police misconduct cases said that the police constable had abused his authority.

The organisation had organised an investigation into the officer after a referral from Hampshire Constabulary, who had received concerns from a number of women over his behaviour towards them.

The IOPC investigated for 10 months, and found that he had inappropriately pursued relationships with women he had met as a police officer. They said that he had a case to answer for gross misconduct for breaching professional standards of authority, respect and courtesy; confidentiality, and discreditable conduct.

After a gross misconduct hearing organised by Hampshire Constabulary, which finished on April 27, the independently chaired panel found the allegations against him proven and he was dismissed. They also ordered that he cannot be identified.

The former PC will now be placed on a list of former officers who are barred from working for the police service in the future.

Delivering the verdict, the panel chair said the officer’s conduct revealed a troubling pattern of behaviour, and that such behaviour risked seriously undermining public trust in the police service.

IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “The officer should have known that inappropriately pursuing relationships in the way that he did was a clear breach of the professional boundaries that exist between police and members of the public.

“It was an abuse of authority, exacerbated by the fact that the officer knew two of the women had vulnerabilities.

“The panel’s decision shows that such behaviour will not be tolerated.”