Police released a statement today following a review into the vetting of former PC Luke Horner who was jailed for child sex crimes earlier this month.

Horner, 24, was convicted following an incident that took place while he was off-duty in Rushden, Northamptonshire, on 11 June 2023, involving the sexual assault of a teenage girl.

The Amersham police station based officer was sentenced on 6 October, at Northampton Crown Court to six years’ and four months’ imprisonment, for engaging in penetrative sex with a child aged 13-15.

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Thames Valley Police DCC Ben Snuggs said: “Our thoughts remain with the young girl and her family who have been affected by Horner's criminal behaviour.

"Such behaviour has no place in policing or in society.

"We are grateful for His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) insight.

"In its report, HMICFRS highlights we could not have anticipated that Horner would end up committing such abhorrent sexual offences against a child.

"It also agreed with our decision to grant vetting clearance, and that our processes were consistent with national practice at the time."

CC Jason Hogg had chaired an Accelerated Misconduct Hearing and found it in the public interest for former PC Horner to be included in the police barred list.

A targeted review carried out by HMICFRS noted that the force could not have reasonably anticipated that PC Horner would carry out the offence.

Horner’s vetting file was reviewed and the HMICFRS agreed with the force’s decision to grant initial vetting clearance.

The HMICFRS review is also not critical of the outcome of the Counter Corruption investigation carried out into Horner following information being received by the Force in February 2022 prior to the incident on 11 June 2023.

The statement on Mr Horner comes amidst other nationwide hearings on police misconduct, with a disciplinary hearing today finding that the behaviour of two met officers amounted to gross misconduct over stop-and-search operations.

Thames Valley Police made an investment of staff in to the Central Vetting Unit in April this year.

A training course was developed alongside this to refresh staff in-line with recommendations.

The force says that as a result of the recent investment it now conducts more in-depth research on applicants, completes an increased number of vetting interviews, and has improved recording of decision making and rationale.

DCC Snuggs added: “We will review each of the HMICFRS recommendations carefully to ensure that any further changes to our processes are made. 

“We want to help build a police service the public trusts in and will continue to remove those who have no place in policing.”