Met Police officer quits in disgrace after cyber flashing allegation

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

A Metropolitan Police officer has resigned in disgrace after he wasaccused of cyber-flashing a colleague and sending sexual messages to passengers on a train.

PC Luke Stokes was arrested by British Transport Police officers in April 2022 after reports of sexual messages being sent via AirDrop to passengers on a C2C train.

Stokes, who was part of the Met’s public order planning unit, carried out a factory reset of his mobile phone, and ultimately did not face criminal charges over the incident.

After learning about the train incident, a colleague of Stokes came forward to say she had received an unwanted explicit image from the officer in 2020.

Stokes was questioned over this allegation in May 2022, but again was spared criminal charges.

The officer resigned from the Met in March this year, shortly before a disciplinary hearing was due to take place.

This week, a panel found Stokes guilty of gross misconduct and ruled that he would have been dismissed if he was still serving.

His name will now be added to the College of Policing’s Barred List, toprevent him becoming a police officer elsewhere in the future.

“It is quite clear that this former officer’s actions fell way below the standardrightly expected of a police officer”, said Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald, from the Met's Public Order Planning team.

“Not only did he send sexual messages to strangers, he tried to cover his tracks and then lie about it to fellow officers.

“There is no place in the Met for people who think such behaviour is acceptable.”

Announcing the ruling, the Met said Stokes was arrested “after a passenger reported the former officer had sent a sexually explicit note via AirDrop while on a C2C train on 9 April 2022”.

Stokes was investigated by British Transport Police over the train incident, and a file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in November 2022.

“The CPS determined that it did not meet the threshold to bring a prosecution and no further criminal action would be taken”, it said.

“After learning of this incident, a female colleague reported that former officer Stokes had sent an unwanted sexually explicit personal image to her in 2020.

“A voluntary interview under caution was carried out in May, 2022. No further action was taken after it was determined the matter did not reach the evidentiary threshold for criminal charges to be brought.”