A “predatory” police officer has been sacked for sending explicit pictures and sexual comments to female colleagues over a period of 12 years.

Temporary detective sergeant Thomas Harvey, who worked in a role investigating serious sexual offences, also breached data rules by keeping personal details from rape cases.

The officer - who was nominated for officer in the year in 2017 - resigned from the force in April 2023, after an internal investigation into him was launched.

A misconduct panel has now ruled that had he still been employed he would have been dismissed without notice for breaching professional standards amounting to gross misconduct.

Eastern Daily Press: The former officer failed to attend a misconduct hearing at Norfolk police headquartersThe former officer failed to attend a misconduct hearing at Norfolk police headquarters (Image: Newsquest)

The case comes amid growing public concern and increased scrutiny of police misconduct following a number of high profile scandals.

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A three-person independent panel was told the former officer had sent unsolicited sexual messages and images between 2011 and 2023.

It concluded his behaviour was motivated by sexual gratification and amounted to “deliberate predatory steps” over a significant period.

“The panel considered this to be a very serious case of repeated misogyny and inappropriate behaviour towards females, including female officers, over an extended period where this issue has been highlighted as one of national concern for policing, “ said chairman Andrew Hearn.

“Equally the failure on the part of an officer of rank to respect the confidentiality of sensitive data is a very serious matter.”



The hearing was told the married former officer had sent pictures of a penis to one woman on multiple occasions in 2011 and 2012 and to an acting sergeant in 2015 with a message asking: “what would you do with that?”

On other occasions in 2021, he messaged another police worker asking “when are you sitting on my face then?” and “how good a friend are you… I need help with a back sack and crack…would you help me?”

Eastern Daily Press: Thomas Harvey was formerly a beat manager in PoringlandThomas Harvey was formerly a beat manager in Poringland (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

He also asked a custody detention officer whether or not she wore pyjamas in bed and messaged a special constable referring to the tightness of her uniform trousers.

His behaviour came to light in February 2023 when he sent a WhatsApp message to a special constable stating “if you want to see what I’ve got…” followed by a picture of a penis. 

The woman told the disciplinary panel she had given him her mobile number hoping to get advice on how to progress her career in the police. 

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The former officer was also found to have photographed and kept on his phone sensitive personal data including the phone number, aliases and photo of a witness in a rape investigation.

He also kept a picture of part of a witness statement from a woman containing an explicit description of a rape.

The panel said at the time much of his work would have involved the investigation of serious sexual offences.

Eastern Daily Press: The Norfolk officer was found to have kept photos of sensitive information involving rape casesThe Norfolk officer was found to have kept photos of sensitive information involving rape cases (Image: Getty Images)

“That fact, coupled with the training which he will have received, should have made him acutely sensitive to the need to ensure that communications with colleagues were appropriate and treat sensitive information relating to the commission of alleged sexual offences,” said Mr Hearn. 

“Yet his conduct revealed a complete failure on his part to do either of those things and all of this further aggravates his offending behaviour.”



The case is among an increasing number of Norfolk police officers facing misconduct investigations, which rose by almost 50pc last year.

Chief constable Paul Sanford has said he expects more officers to face disciplinary action in the coming months amid greater scrutiny.

Former T/DS Harvey, previously a beat manager in Poringland, did not attend the misconduct hearing and was not represented.

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When interviewed under caution in June 2023 he initially answered ‘no comment’ to all questions but had later offered explanations for the data protection allegations.  

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk chief constable Paul Sanford has pledged to crackdown on misconductNorfolk chief constable Paul Sanford has pledged to crackdown on misconduct (Image: Jason Bye)

He told investigators: “Everything is work-related in my time at work when I am dealing with a number of jobs and I have not done anything with any material or meeting anyone or anything like that.”

In written evidence to the misconduct hearing one of the female officers who received a penis picture from him said she had not reported it because she “just thought that it was one of those things that unfortunately females get”.

Another said although she had thought it was “pervy” she had not been offended enough to raise it and had thought of him as “a bloody idiot”.