Paedophile police sergeant's crimes are ‘shocking example of predatory behaviour’
- Credit: Herts police
Former Herts police officer Michael Grigg was sentenced to six and a half years in prison yesterday (Tuesday, December 15) after being convicted at Harrow Crown Court.
Grigg, formerly of Hatfield, was found guilty on Friday, December 11 of two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.
The 34-year-old will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
His victim had been in a police cadet programme while Police Sergeant Grigg was a cadet leader and contact involved sexual activity at cadet meetings. Evidence was heard in court of sexual activity on a cadet holiday and at the officer’s home address.
IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: “Sexual exploitation of young people is an abhorrent crime. PS Grigg’s conviction is a powerful reminder that no one is above the law, however authoritative they may appear to their victim.
“All police officers have an obligation to safeguard young people.
“This case was a shocking example of predatory behaviour, and an abuse of trust and position that no police officer or member of the public would condone.
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“Such behaviour amounts to serious corruption and those who abuse their position for sexual purpose and exploit young people have no place in policing.”
During the course of the investigation, which was managed by the IOPC but carried out by Hertfordshire Constabulary, shortcomings were exposed in the management of police cadet records which led the IOPC to make recommendations to better protect young people in the future.
The IOPC recommends: “that all police forces should keep records of all cadets enlisted in their volunteer cadet programme, and cadet leaders, if they do not do so already.
“It is recommended these records should be kept centrally by someone who has responsibility for overseeing the cadet programme and there should not be a reliance on records stored locally by cadet leaders.
“We also recommended the records should be kept for an appropriate period of time after cadets and cadets’ leaders have left the programme, to ensure that any potential safeguarding issues identified at a later date can be dealt with appropriately. We have also stated that the retention of data must also comply with relevant data protection legislation.
The Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins MP, was informed of the recommendations and will receive an update next year regarding the implementation of the identified learning.
Hertfordshire Constabulary also accepted the IOPC recommendations and have implemented changes.
Herts police detective superintendent Michael Trotman said: “Grigg’s predatory actions amounted to a gross abuse of his position of trust in the most calculated and appalling way.
“We pay tribute to the courage of the victim, who bravely came forward and had to go through the ordeal of giving evidence at court.
“Grigg’s lack of remorse throughout the course of the investigation and subsequent trial has been startling and I’m pleased that a conviction has now been secured.
“The public rightly expect us to uphold the strongest standards, ethics and values and we will not hesitate to take the necessary action against those who fall short of the high expectations we set.
“As a result of the investigation, we have reviewed our processes in line with IOPC recommendations around the management of police cadet records and are now fully compliant with the updated national guidelines.”
Grigg has remained suspended from his role as a sergeant in a non-public facing department since his arrest. A misconduct hearing will now be conducted.
The IOPC also carried out a separate independent investigation into allegations the same officer may have misconducted himself by having inappropriate online communication with a member of the public, including whilst he was on duty.
This investigation does not relate to the officer’s involvement in the police cadet programme, nor does it relate to anyone the officer met during the course of his work.
The IOPC’s independent investigation concluded in May 2020 and Grigg now faces gross misconduct proceedings.