(APSP) by Police officers and staff

Abuse of Position for a Sexual Purpose (APSP) by Police officers and staff

You are receiving this as a partner agency working with Gloucestershire Police.

We want you to be aware of any potential instances of the Abuse of Position for a Sexual Purpose (APSP) by Police officers and staff.

APSP is defined as “any behaviour by a police officer or a police staff member, whether on or off duty that takes advantage of their position as a member of the police service to misuse their position, authority or powers in order to pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship with any member of the public”.

The situation can be aggravated where the member of the public could be classed as vulnerable for example, if they are missing or suicidal, those suffering domestic abuse, people with drug or alcohol dependences, young people, those who have been trafficked, and those affected by any mental health condition.

You work with people who may have had contact with officers and staff when there was a “power imbalance”. You might be told information that would help us tackle any unprofessional or potentially criminal behaviour.

These are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Unexpected visits or “welfare checks” by officers and staff to people that you are supporting
  • Inappropriate or prolonged social media contact or messages containing “x”’s or Emoji’s
  • Offers of help and assistance that go way beyond what would be expected
  • The perception of an officer or staff member as a “knight in shining armour”
  • Visits off duty
  • Nicknames/pet names

If you become aware of any of the above, or anything else that just doesn’t seem right then please make contact with the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), so we can make an assessment.

The vast majority of police employees come to work and uphold all of the standards and values that the public and the Constabulary expect, but some fall short of these and should this happen then it will be taken seriously.

There is no place in policing for those who abuse their position for sexual purposes

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