Paul Banks: GMP officer sacked after getting crime victim to create email account and upload explicit images

Greater Manchester Police said Banks, who met the woman as she was a crime victim, showed ‘depraved behaviour’ and ‘disgraced himself’.

A police officer who worked in Greater Manchester has been sacked from the force after he got a woman who was a crime victim to create an email account and then upload explicit images to it.

Paul Banks, who used to work in Salford as a PC, was placed on the College of Policing Barred List after appearing at a gross misconduct hearing. The force said Banks had showed “depraved behaviour” and “disgraced himself”.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been under the spotlight for behaviour recently as it has emerged that dozens of police officers are under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct.

What did Paul Banks do?

Banks appeared before a gross misconduct hearing on 24 and 25 January 2023. It found that he had had an “improper relationship” with a vulnerable woman while working in the police.

The panel heard that Banks advised the woman, who was a victim of crime, to create an email account and upload images to it. Banks then accessed the account and clicked on pictures and videos, most of which were of an explicit nature, more than 200 times.

He failed to report any of this to his manager or to the force’s Professional Standards Branch (PSB), the panel was told. Banks’ sordid activities were uncovered by his fellow officers at GMP, who then reported him to the PSB. An investigation began in December 2020 and Banks was placed on restricted duties while his actions were looked into.

The panel concluded that Banks should be dismissed without notice from the force and placed him on the College of Policing Barred List.

What has GMP said about Paul Banks?

Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “Banks knew full well that his conduct was egregiously wrong. By cultivating an improper relationship with a vulnerable member of the public who he met in the course of his policing duties, the officer has been deservedly sacked from GMP.

“Not only has he disgraced himself, but his depraved behaviour dishonours policing and undermines the principled endeavours of his colleagues, who everyday do a valiant job catching criminals and protecting our communities.

“Indeed, it was Banks’ own colleagues who sensed something was amiss and triggered the first step in a process that rooted him out.

“The prudence of his colleagues is to be commended and I am grateful to the IOPC for conducting an investigation that left no stone unturned.

“No decent member of the police service wants to work with the likes of Banks and there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him. He abused his position of trust and for that the office of Constable has been rightly stripped from him.

“GMP is a better force without Banks and we will recruit a new officer into his post who will discharge their duties with honour and espouse the professional and compassionate values of the GMP workforce.”