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Former Suffolk police officer Ryan Althorpe from Ipswich convicted of two counts of misconduct in public office





A 33-year-old man has been convicted of two counts of misconduct in a public office while he was serving as a Suffolk police officer in ‘an appalling abuse of trust’.

Ryan Althorpe, of Meadow Crescent in Ipswich, was found guilty by a jury on both counts after a five-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

The offences were between November 16, 2020 and December 3, 2020 when Althorpe was a temporary sergeant based at Woodbridge in the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Ryan Althorpe has been convicted of two counts of misconduct in a public office while he was serving as a Suffolk police officer in ‘an appalling abuse of trust’. Picture: iStock
Ryan Althorpe has been convicted of two counts of misconduct in a public office while he was serving as a Suffolk police officer in ‘an appalling abuse of trust’. Picture: iStock

He was summoned to appear before Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 21 last year where he was formally charged with the offences.

The charges included attempting to engage a female into sexually inappropriate conversation with a view to engaging in sexual activity with that person and wilful neglect to record her disclosure of a non-recent rape allegation.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Althorpe, who pleaded not guilty to both offences, received private disclosure via social media on Facebook of an alleged non-recent rape by the complainant, a woman in her 30s.

The messages began on November 16, 2020 and despite the conversation being initially positive, the tone quickly changed and he proceeded to communicate explicit sexual comments towards the complainant via private messaging on Facebook whilst discussing the rape allegation.

The court heard how Althorpe repeatedly requested video calls, phone calls and photo exchanges.

The final message took place on December 3, 2020. The victim confided to someone she knew and she then reported it to police.

Althorpe was suspended from all duties and operational duties as a police officer in September 2021 once the allegations came to light and he resigned from Suffolk Constabulary from his role as an officer in June 2022.

Althorpe also failed to record the victim’s report of rape that took place in November 2019 – the second misconduct in a public office charge he was facing.

Sentencing of Althorpe will take place on Wednesday, September 11 at Ipswich Crown Court.

Deputy Chief Constable Rob Jones said: “This was an appalling abuse of trust by Althorpe – the victim was vulnerable and quite rightly reached out to him for help and support as he held a position of trust that he completely exploited.

“He showed no respect for the position of authority and trust that the role of a police officer holds and I am ashamed of his actions as he was a serving police officer at the time.

“Public confidence in the police depends on those serving with us demonstrating the highest level of personal standards and professional behaviour and the force will continue to thoroughly investigate any allegations of criminal conduct by its employees."

“In Suffolk Constabulary we try to ensure correct standards and behaviour are the bedrock of our organisation through strong, supportive, and intrusive leadership where appropriate.

“This includes encouraging a healthy 'upstander not bystander' culture where people have confidence to speak and act on behalf of their colleagues and challenge inappropriate behaviour.”

“It is also really important to make clear any reports of sexual offences are taken extremely seriously and will be dealt with care and sensitivity by police who provide a professional, supportive and empathetic service.

“The welfare of the victim is of the utmost importance and support is offered at all stages to ensure their needs are met and that the appropriate services are provided.”