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21 December 2015, 15:21
A former police officer who used his position to send thousands of text messages to vulnerable women has been jailed for 12 months, police have said.
Lee Lucas, 39, was also sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to one month in prison after 1,400 indecent images of children were found on his computer.
Lucas worked for South Yorkshire Police as a Pc at Rotherham's Main Street police station from July 2010.
South Yorkshire Police said an investigation into whether any officers were abusing their position by contacting vulnerable members of the public found "excessive and unexplained contact" between Lucas and eight women in 2013.
A force spokesman said: "The women were vulnerable members of the public who had contacted the police in relation to various incidents, including harassment, domestic abuse and other crime.
"Lucas met them when he was deployed to incidents involving the women.
"The investigation revealed that he maintained contact with the women, sharing thousands of text messages with them and also visiting some of them at their homes."
Further investigation revealed the indecent images on Lucas's computer.
Lucas pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to misconduct in a public office and eight counts of making indecent images of children.
The former officer was suspended by the force after his conviction in October.
Terry Mann, head of professional standards at South Yorkshire Police, said: ``This was an operation generated by the force's professional standards department to explore whether any officers were abusing their position with victims of domestic abuse and other crime.
"This shows that we were willing and able to investigate officers' wrongdoing and deal with it thoroughly and clearly. The victims were supported throughout what must have been a very upsetting time.
"I would like to reassure the public that Lucas was the most serious case out of a very small number of officers who made improper contact with such victims. They have all now been dealt with."
Mr Mann said the matter was referred to police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who supervised the inquiry.