A former police officer who pursued women for sex after meeting them while on duty has been jailed.
Oliver Perry Smith of Thames Valley police has been described as a “sexual predator” who targeted women in vulnerable positions.
The 38-year-old was sentenced to three years and six months in prison at Reading Crown Court on Friday, the police watchdog IOPC the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), said.
Perry, who was based at Newbury police station, had previously pleaded guilty to three charges of misconduct in public office.
He also pleaded guilty to charges of unauthorised access to computer material, contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
The IOPC found that Perry-Smith had a case to answer for gross misconduct back in November 2019 and began an investigation.
He resigned from Thames Valley police in February this year.
The court was told that between September 2014 and November 2019, Perry-Smith pursued six women after meeting them through his duties.
He is understood to have had sexual contact with three of the women and tried to establish sexual contact with the others.
The watchdog said he also looked up the details of one of those women and a seventh woman on police computer systems – for no policing purpose.
The officer’s actions came to light in late 2019 when a woman called the police and reported that Perry-Smith, who previously attended the home of her friend, had later sent an indecent image by text.
The watchdog found that the officer had also looked up details for her and her family on the police computer system.
On another occasion, Perry-Smith used a police computer to identify a woman using her car registration after parking next to her and watching her go into a shop, the IOPC said.
The woman made a complaint to the IOPC after he turned up at her home without a policing purpose and made personal comments about her appearance, despite knowing she was alone with a young child.
IOPC regional director Graham Beesley paid tribute to all the women who bravely came forward to help with the investigation.
He said: “Perry-Smith was a sexual predator and his conduct caused significant distress to the women involved.
“He was prolific in the abuse of his position over a five-year period and his acts were intentional, deliberate, targeted and planned.
“His actions were often at the expense of his formal policing duties.”
Senior crown prosecutor Charles White of the Crown Prosecution Service said Perry-Smith had taken “advantage of his privileged position and access to police resources to pursue several women over a few years”.
He added that the officer had “abused his power, broke public trust, and made many women feel uncomfortable or unsafe in his inappropriate pursuit of them”.
The IOPC said gross misconduct was found proven against Perry-Smith for breaching police standards of professional behaviour for authority, respect and courtesy; duties and responsibilities; honesty and integrity; and discreditable conduct.
Perry-Smith will also be placed on the barred list preventing future employment within the police service, the watchdog said.
Thames Valley police Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg said the force took “robust action by referring his case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as well as carrying out our own misconduct procedures”.
He added he is “pleased” Perry-Smith “has faced justice for his actions and is no longer part of Thames Valley Police”.