An Essex police officer has been dismissed following a public misconduct hearing.

A panel led by chair Siobhan Goodrich found that Detective Constable Peter Wood breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to orders and instructions, duties and responsibilities and honesty and integrity.

Of four allegations against the officer three were found proven and one not proven.

The panel ruled that between June 2013 and August 2014 Dc Wood, while working for the force's North Child Abuse Investigation Team, failed to take appropriate steps to trace a suspect and consider therefore any safeguarding requirements.

He was also found to have made a dishonest entry on a force recording system relating to checks that he said he had completed.

Dc Wood was also found to have failed to take appropriate steps to ensure that two mobile phones and a laptop were submitted for forensic examination, lied to a supervisor regarding the submission of the devices, lied about a witness not being willing to provide a statement, making an entry to that effect on a force recording system and failed to follow the instructions of a supervisor in trying to trace two witnesses.

The panel found that Dc Wood had breached professional standards relating to honesty and integrity and duties and responsibilities in regard to all three of the allegations, and orders and instructions on one of the allegations found to have been proven.

Superintendent Kevin Baldwin, who was part of the hearing panel, said: “Police officers are expected to always act with the highest standards of behaviour and it is profoundly damaging to the trust and confidence that victims of crime must have in us when the actions of an officer do not meet those expectations. This is even more crucial in the most harmful and complex crimes we investigate.

"These are extremely serious breaches of the standards that must apply to every police officer. They amount to gross misconduct and in those circumstances the only possible sanction is dismissal."