Police Officer used Cadet Scheme as ‘Grooming Playground’

A Manchester police officer used the cadet scheme he ran as a “grooming playground” for sexual assaults on teenagers.

Police Officer used Cadet Scheme as 'Grooming Playground' f

“Ali grossly abused his authority and exploited his position"

A Manchester police officer has been convicted of sexual offences and misconduct in a public place while running a volunteer police cadet scheme.

Adnan Ali, aged 36, of Manchester, is said to have used the cadet scheme as a “grooming playground”.

The charges relate to incidents between 2015 and 2018 involving young men and women enrolled on Greater Manchester Police’s volunteer police cadet scheme.

Ali had been working as a volunteer Police Cadet Leader since 2013 and a Student Officer Development and Assessment Coordinator since 2016.

Both roles brought him into contact with young people, many of whom were vulnerable, and some with aspirations of becoming serving police officers themselves.

Ali’s police career had been a successful one.

He had won numerous awards for his work with young people and had been highly regarded by some of his colleagues. Young cadets would look up to him as a role model.

But in October 2018, he was arrested and suspended after GMP received a complaint that Ali had been behaving inappropriately towards a 16-year-old boy.

After his arrest, electronic devices were seized.

During the police investigation, officers identified additional victims.

Officers uncovered sexualised messages, sexual images and behaviour from Ali towards young people in his care as well as sexual assaults.

On some days, hundreds of messages would be sent.

They were sent from the early hours of the morning until late at night.

He sent highly inappropriate photographs of himself and would encourage other young people to send images to him in return.

One message read: “Just lay in bed…wish u were here xx.”

Another read: “Wish you were in the bath with me.”

He was dismissed from his job and barred from policing when gross misconduct was found proved by GMP in April 2022.

Ali denied five counts of sexual assault and 15 counts of misconduct in a public office but was found guilty of all 20 of them.

Assistant Chief Constable Colin McFarlane, of GMP, said:

“Whilst Ali is responsible for committing these crimes, no one should be subjected to crime or misconduct during their contact with police officers and staff, like these young people were – for that, and in acknowledgement that Ali could have been better supervised and managed, we are sorry.

“My thanks go to the victims and witnesses who bravely supported the prosecution which secured today’s verdict.

“Though trials are a fundamental part of the criminal justice system, the impact they can have on those involved and with whom cases resonate is not underestimated.

“We will ensure they are supported for as long as they need.

“Alongside the criminal and misconduct investigations, this case initiated a full review of GMP’s volunteer police cadet scheme.

“With national oversight, improvements have been and are continuing to be implemented to ensure cadet leaders are the role models they are expected to be and that they do not pose a risk to anyone.”

Karen Tonge, Specialist Prosecutor for CPS North West’s Complex Casework Unit said:

“As a police officer, Ali was expected to adhere to the strictest standards of behaviour and professional conduct.

“This was particularly so as he was working directly with young and vulnerable people in his care.

“Ali grossly abused his authority and exploited his position over a sustained period.

He abused his position of trust to deliberately instigate inappropriate relationships with these young people for sexual gratification. Many were vulnerable and many looked up to him.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has worked hard with Greater Manchester Police to build a strong case to put before the jury including lengthy phone evidence and eye witness testimony.

“I would like to thank the victims for bravely reporting the matters and helping us to bring him to justice.

“Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so, the CPS will always robustly prosecute offences such as these.”

The father of one will be sentenced on June 23, 2023.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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