Policeman who said he was aroused by teen’s sexual assault is sacked

·2 min read
British Transport Police Officer, BTP, from the back next to a police cordon in Manchester.
Chief Inspector Paul Crouch (not pictured) was dismissed without notice for gross misconduct. (Getty)

A British Transport Police officer who told a colleague he was "sexually aroused" while reading about the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl has been sacked.

Chief Inspector Paul Crouch, based in London, was dismissed without notice from the force on Friday after an independent panel found his actions amounted to gross misconduct.

The hearing also heard he sexually harassed a female colleague over ten years, which included smelling her hair and rubbing his thighs in her presence.

Other allegations which also spanned a decade, included making sexist and discriminatory comments about female colleagues after claiming one was promoted due to her gender and sexuality.

The public misconduct hearing was told that he also referred to a female colleague's appearance, weight and attractiveness.

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Sign for the British Transport Police on an isolated station wall in Lincoln, the sign looks old and dilapidated.
Crouch attended the hearing at BTP headquarters, in Camden. (Getty)

Crouch kept a list of female colleagues he found attractive while working in BTP headquarters, the tribunal heard.

Other allegations included creating a sexualised working environment by displaying pictures on his wall of famous women he found attractive and referring to a recruitment process as unfair because the panel was all female.

Crouch attended the hearing at BTP headquarters, in Camden, between 23 and 25 May and answered allegations he breached the standards of professional behaviour, namely authority, respect and courtesy, discreditable conduct, equality and diversity.

The independent panel found that his actions amounted to gross misconduct, and was dismissed from the force with immediate effect.

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Detective Superintendent Peter Fulton, Head of BTP’s Professional Standards Department, said: “Officers like Paul Crouch completely undermine our efforts and we are determined to root people like him out, because there’s absolutely no place for sexualised or discriminatory behaviour within British Transport Police.

“I would like to personally thank the colleagues who came forward and provided such compelling evidence which was crucial in holding Crouch to account."

Det Supt Fulton said initially, the Legally Qualified Chair in the hearing ruled Crouch’s name should be kept anonymous on the basis he watches football matches and may be subject to hostility from other fans if they found out he was a police officer.

He added: “We fundamentally disagreed with this, and collected evidence to successfully appeal the Chair’s decision so we could openly report his name.

“It is absolutely vital that we are open, transparent, and accountable if we are to restore public confidence in policing.”