The officer, a chief inspector, had, while off duty, accessed a website for people who work in uniform.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said the complaints about the officer related to claims made to members of the public on the website that he was a serving police officer and that he had committed criminal offences including drug-taking and a sexual offence. He was also found to have used his position as a uniformed police officer to advertise himself online in an attempt to meet sexual partners while in uniform.
The site, uniformdating.com, says it “understands the unique circumstances that uniformed personnel have in their jobs and the restrictions that shift patterns, working away or being on tour can have on keeping a long-term relationship”. It says it is for “anyone who works in uniform or fancies those who do!”.
Police officers, members of the armed services and other emergency personnel are pictured on the site as members. But Scotland Yard said officers had to behave with the “utmost humility and integrity in all areas of their lives” as it announced that the officer had been dismissed without notice for his behaviour on the site.
The officer was sacked after a two-day misconduct hearing held behind closed doors, following an investigation by the Met’s internal investigations bureau, the Directorate of Professional Standards.
Commander Peter Spindler, head of the DPS, said: “Officers and staff may believe that what they do online, whether on duty or off duty, is either anonymous or doesn’t have any impact on others. This is not the case. The Metropolitan Police Service will pursue any allegations regarding improper online activity as vigorously as any wrongdoing offline.
“We expect our employees to behave professionally, morally, ethically and with the utmost humility and integrity in all areas of their lives. Anything short of this will not be tolerated.”
The investigation into the officer’s activities on the site began in June 2010 after he was arrested by Kent police. The officer was put on restricted duties during the inquiry.
The criminal investigation did not lead to any charges and the Met then began disciplinary proceedings.
On Wednesday the panel of senior officers running the disciplinary hearing found the 46-year-old officer guilty of gross and discreditable conduct in relation to his activity on the website while he was off duty.
IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin said: “Police officers, by virtue of the powers vested in them, hold positions of authority and trust in our communities.
“Those who discredit their role cannot expect to continue to serve the public, and, as in this case, they should be dismissed.”