An east London Metropolitan Police officer had sex with a missing 15-year-old boy, a misconduct hearing has found. 

The officer, named only as Officer A, messaged the child, referred to as Child A, on LGBTQ dating app Grindr and arranged to meet up for sex, it was told.

The child said that when he met the officer, who is in his 30s, he disclosed that he was only 15 but that despite this they went on to have sex. 

Officer A, who worked in the East Area covering Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham, was arrested but has faced no criminal charges. 

The details of this case were made public for the first time when a misconduct report was published on Thursday (November 16). 

The misconduct hearing was told that Officer A and the child first spoke on Grindr on August 16, 2019, then met up to have sex the same day. 

The content of the messages focused on sex and the potential meeting for sex. 

Officer A claimed that on that evening they met up in his car and went back to his house simply to play Xbox and chat. 

The panel found Officer A’s account was not reliable, and concluded that sexual activity took place. 

Officer A also claimed that he believed the child was 18, while the child said he told the officer he was 15 in the car. 

The panel stated: “Our finding is that this officer knew that Child A was underage in the car –and at his house when sexual activity took place. 

“Even were Officer A not told Child A’s specific age, our view is that on the basis of Child As features there was more than enough to alert the officer to the fact that Child A was not 16 and certainly not 18 as the officer has suggested was his belief.” 

The panel heard that on August 26, 2019, the officer then allowed Child A, who by this point was a runaway child, to stay at his home without alerting police or social services. 

The following day he told the child to attend Romford Police Station and ask for him, but not to mention their relationship, the misconduct panel was told. 

The panel said: “It is our conclusion on the evidence that this officer has intentionally and wilfully ignored Child A’s age and vulnerability and the fundamental issue of Child A being under the age of consent. 

“We find that the officer has focused entirely upon his own self-interest and knowingly broken the law - all of which we find to be fundamentally sexually motivated. 

“He has then sought to manipulate proper procedures to cover up the relationship for fear of exposure when Child A has attended Romford Police Station.” 

When an allegation of serious sexual assault was made against Officer A in September 2019, a criminal investigation was launched. 

The officer was arrested and suspended from duty. 

A file on the case was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). 

The CPS reviewed all the evidence and decided the case against Officer A did not meet the full test code for a criminal prosecution. 

The decision was challenged by way of a Victim’s Right of Review but this was unsuccessful. 

Despite no criminal proceedings being brought against Officer A, the misconduct panel found that he had committed gross misconduct. 

He was therefore dismissed without notice. 

Ch Supt Stuart Bell, of the East Area Command Unit, said: “This officer betrayed their role as a police officer and their oath to uphold the law by exploiting and abusing a child, who was below the age of consent. 

“I want to make it clear there is absolutely no place for officers like this in the Met. 

“We are determined to root out officers who are not fit to wear the uniform and serve the public.”