A Hertfordshire police sergeant who sexually exploited an underage cadet has been jailed and described as ‘predatory’.
Constabulary officer Michael Grigg, 34, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years’ behind bars over the offending.
He was convicted at Harrow Crown Court on Friday of two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child following a Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Hertfordshire Constabulary investigation.
The investigators confirmed in statements following the sentencing that the victim had been in a police cadet programme while Police Sergeant Grigg was a cadet leader.
Their contact involved sexual activity at cadet meetings, the court heard.
Evidence was heard of sexual activity during cadet programme activities and at the officer’s home address, investigators said.
Detective Superintendent Michael Trotman said in a statement following the sentencing: “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, Hertforshire Constabulary said.
A misconduct hearing will now be conducted.
His conviction led to a series of recommendations being made by the police watchdog, which were accepted in full by the National Police Chief’s Council and Hertfordshire Constabulary.
The IOPC made recommendations concerning record-keeping about cadets and leaders in their volunteer programme to ensure any safeguarding issues can be easily flagged up and investigated.
It included that there should not be a reliance on records stored locally by cadet leaders.
IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said the case laid bare an abuse of power, along with issues with cadet programme record-keeping.
He added: “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.
“Such behaviour amounts to serious corruption and those who abuse their position for sexual purpose and exploit young people have no place in policing.”
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 while he was on duty.
The investigation is unrelated to the cadet programme, and doesn’t involve anyone the officer met during the course of his work.
The IPOC independent investigation concluded in May and Grigg now faces gross misconduct proceedings.