‘My friends called him PC Perv’: the police officers who prey on crime victims for sex
Nicola Brookes was groomed by a senior officer she trusted and she is not alone – 2,000 police officers have been accused of sexual misconduct in four years. In the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, what can be done?
Nicola Brookes was at the lowest point of her life when she turned to the police for help. By the time she met Inspector Anthony Lumb, she had suffered years of online abuse – including death threats, letters sent to her house and relentless trolling.
Her problems began in November 2011, when she sent an innocuous message of support to an X Factor contestant on Facebook. The contestant was being trolled online and Brookes wrote: “Keep your friends and your family close. They’ll move on to someone else soon.” Within hours, she had received hundreds of abusive messages. Brookes was stunned – she was called an “insane old crone”, a “demented witch”. A cloned Facebook account was created in her name, suggesting she was a paedophile and a drug dealer. Her address was even published online. Then the campaign spread to multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, blogs, online radio and video channels.