A former police sergeant has been sentenced for harassment after engaging in ‘unwanted and inappropriate contact’ with a witness.

Syed Ali, formerly attached to the East Area Command Unit which polices Redbridge, harassed a female member of the public between May and July 2020.

The 46-year-old came into contact with the woman while working for Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) in 2015.

In May 2020, two years after transferring to East Area Command Unit, Ali began to engage in unwanted and inappropriate contact with the same witness by messaging her on his work phone.

The woman stated by message that she did not want him to contact her but Ali persisted. The harassment continued through to July 2020.

The harassment was reported and Ali was arrested on July 23 at Ilford Police Station.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, BCU Commander for the East Area, said: “The way in which Ali conducted himself is utterly shocking.

“This type of conduct has absolutely no place in the organisation and we are committed to bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.”

Ali resigned from the force in April 2021 after entering a guilty plea.

He was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 12 to six weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months; a Community Order of 200 hour unpaid work; £200 compensation to the victim; and a three-year restraining order.

A misconduct hearing will be held in light of his conviction to decide if the matter equates to gross misconduct. If so, Ali will placed upon the College of Policing Barred List, prohibiting any future police employment.