December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner has today underlined the force’s determination to protect victims of child sex abuse after it emerged an officer hanged himself on the day he was due to be charged with a series of serious sexual offences.
Police yesterday revealed Gareth Gricks had been dismissed for gross misconduct after being arrested on suspicion of a total of nine serious sexual offences.
It followed an investigation by the force’s Professional Standards Department into allegations received in April that he was suspected of being involved in online child sexual abuse offences involving victims from outside the UK.
Mr Gricks, an investigator in the custody investigation unit at King’s Lynn Police Investigation Centre, was due to answer bail on August 6. He would have been charged with three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, making indecent images of children and five offences of sexual assault against an adult female.
But inquiries were made when Mr Gricks, who had been a PC for 19-and-a-half years, based largely in the Lynn area, did not appear at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre.
The 53-year-old was later found hanged in the garage of his home in Dunton, near Fakenham, by a family member.
Stephen Bett, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said: “The offences this man faced were of a heinous and despicable nature. He faced a catalogue of reprehensible allegations which of course will now never come to court.
“The sexual abuse of children and adults is an area we treat with the utmost seriousness both online and in general. We have put extra resource into Norfolk Constabulary specifically to strengthen the force’s approach in this area.”
The offences are all alleged to have been committed whilst Mr Gricks was off-duty. There is no evidence to date of any offences committed whilst he was on duty or that any child sex offences were committed against victims in the UK.
An inquest into Mr Gricks’s death has been opened and adjourned.