Police have apologised for a series of failures to act against a former Hartlepool policeman who was later jailed for 19 years for a catalogue of rapes and other sex offences.
Findings of a Cleveland Police investigation published yesterday into the behaviour of Wayne Scott revealed he made sexual advances towards colleagues, spoke openly about his sex life and got ‘love letters’ from girls as young as 10.
But the probe found the force failed to act properly against Scott’s “totally inappropriate” behaviour and other warning signs which allowed his behaviour to flourish.
The final report stated: “Throughout his posting as a police constable at Hartlepool, Scott exhibited inappropriate sexualised behaviour which was not challenged by his peers.”
The investigation, which was supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) makes a series of recommendations to Cleveland Police to prevent similar failures in the future.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal said the force has taken many on board already, adding: “There is no place for rotten apples within the police service or any other organisation.” Read the full statement here.
Scott’s inappropriate sexualised behaviour was allowed to flourish throughout his career within Cleveland Police whilst posted to both Hartlepool and Stockton.Police report on Wayne Scott
Scott, formerly of Stockton, was sentenced to 19 years’ jail in October 2013, for 10 offences of rape, two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one of sexual touching and two offences of common assault against three victims.
Ordering him to serve 15 years, the judge described him as “manipulative, domineering and controlling”.
The investigation uncovered a further eight alleged victims of Scott where the claims did not get to court.
Scott joined Cleveland Police in August 2002 and was posted to a response team at Hartlepool before moving to the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Jutland Road in 2006.
It emerged that in 2003, Scott sexually assaulted a woman in Hartlepool when he touched her around her face and body, including her breast.
Scott was made the subject of continuous assessment after a mediation meeting between him and the victim.
The sergeant who dealt with the matter told the investigation he had only been told that Scott had touched her face and made inappropriate comments.
Scott was also accused of rubbing his hand up and down another woman’s thigh while driving her in a police vehicle in 2007.
In 2007 and 2008, colleagues in Hartlepool became aware of eight love letters Scott received from three young girls who said they were in love with him.
He gave them cuddles and bought them ice cream at Seaton Carew, but was not found to have committed any crimes against them.
The investigation found Scott’s supervising sergeant warned him to stay away from the girls, but that he should have investigated it more fully.
The report stated: “He (Scott) was seen to read the letters out to other members of staff and kept them in a box as he appeared proud of them.”
It added: “It is apparent that whilst the young girls were not subjected to any offences by Scott, his relationship with them was totally inappropriate.”
Further alleged victims of serious sexual offences were detailed in the report in relation to Scott’s time working for the force in Stockton.
The report said that despite Scott’s inappropriate sexual comments and behaviour, including sexual advances towards several of his colleagues, no one appeared to challenge him or raise his behaviour at a higher level.
Scott was transferred to Newtown Police Office in Stockton in 2008, where a woman later alleged he violently raped her in an interview room, but she did not wish to take it further.
The report added: “The red flags should have acted as an alert to allow an individual of concern (in this case Scott) to be identified and tracked by the organisation.”
It added: “Scott’s inappropriate sexualised behaviour was allowed to flourish throughout his career within Cleveland Police whilst posted to both Hartlepool and Stockton. This appears to have been for a number of reasons, which included indifference on the part of some colleagues, who either thought he was a joke or did not like him.
“Other colleagues, some of whom were victims, found him manipulative and intimidating and were not prepared to challenge him or notify supervisors.”
The report says it is impossible to say if the alleged offences against nine victims would have happened if Scott had been flagged up earlier.
But it said it is likely he would have been under greater scrutiny which may have prevented a sex assault against one victim and sexual assault allegations against two others.
Among the recommendations to Cleveland Police are to introduce a process to track individuals of concern, further development of confidential reporting systems and raising awareness of the force’s whistleblower policy.
Scott was finally dismissed from the force after a Misconduct Hearing in October 2012.