Gwent Police have broken their silence following news that a former officer has been jailed for offences committed while serving under the force.

Earlier today, Paul Chadwick was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment having pleaded guilty to two charges of misconduct in public office.

The offences, which were carried out while the 51-year-old was a serving Gwent Police officer, were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Following news of the sentencing, Gwent Police, who referred Chadwick to the IOPC in May 2020, have condemned their former officer’s actions.

In a statement, Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “Paul Chadwick abused his privileged position to take advantage of two vulnerable women.

“As a police officer, he would have known that his actions were entirely illegal.

“He is now facing the consequences for his completely unacceptable behaviour. His disgraceful actions are the types of behaviour that erode public confidence in the police.

“The vast majority of our officers work hard daily to deliver an excellent service and provide reassurance to our communities.

“We firmly stand against this form of behaviour and it will never be tolerated in Gwent Police.”

It is understood that despite Chadwick retiring from the force in June 2021, Gwent Police is set to hold disciplinary proceedings against the former officer.

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What was heard in court?

Paul Chadwick, an ex-police constable for the Gwent force, pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance to two charges of misconduct in public office, following an investigation by the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct).

The 51-year-old, of Churchwood, Griffithstown, Pontypool, admitted entering into two inappropriate relationships with women while he was a serving officer. He met the women during the course of his duties last year.

One of the relationships was between January and April 2020, and another between dates in May last year.

Away from the court, Catrin Evans, the IOPC director for Wales, said Chadwick had "abused the position of trust placed in him".

His actions "impacted heavily" on the two women, one of whom was "in a highly vulnerable situation".

Ms Evans said: “Cases where officers abuse their position for sexual purposes are among the most serious examples of corruption that we investigate and have real potential to impact on public confidence in the police."