Former Bedfordshire Police officer would have been sacked over sexual comments if he hadn't quit
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A former Bedfordshire Police officer who made ‘unwanted and persistent’ inappropriate comments to his colleagues and a member of the public would have been sacked if he had not already resigned, a hearing has ruled.
Mark Benger made inappropriate, sexual comments to five female colleagues both in person and on social media between March 2021 and July 2022. During the two-day hearing, the panel heard evidence that he had sent inappropriate messages via Facebook Messenger to a witness to an investigation in March 2022.
He quit the force in May this year, having joined in March 2021.
Mr Benger, who did not attend the hearing, was found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviours for authority, respect and courtesy; confidentiality and discreditable conduct. The panel found that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, which was “in many respects sexually motivated” and was sustained over a period of time affecting “multiple victims”.
Chair of the panel David Tyme said: “(He) was an older and more experienced officer and as result, was perceived to occupy a position of trust relative to the female police officers and abused their trust and respect.”
Deputy Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic said: “Mark Benger persistently pursued young in-service female colleagues. His actions were wholly inappropriate and despite the relatively short time he was in policing he has brought discredit upon the service.
"There is no place in this force, or anywhere in policing, for this kind of behaviour. Everyone should be able to come to work without fearing they will be subjected to harassment.”