A policeman who filmed up the skirts of drunk students searched the internet to find out about student areas in Sheffield, a court heard.
PC Kevin Dwyer, aged 39, described as a ‘figure of national shame,’ also twice crept up to a window to film a young couple having sex inside a building and even filmed up the skirt of one young woman while he was on duty and in uniform.
Dwyer, a former fireman, had approached the victim, who was squatting down, while on duty in his high-visibility police uniform, claiming to be investigating a crime, Manchester Crown Court heard.
He also filmed up the skirts of women in takeaways, stood below customers queuing up the steps of a nightclub, and sidled up to groups of women waiting for taxis.
Dwyer, of Sunnybank Close, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, has been suspended from his job as a constable with Greater Manchester Police, where he has worked for 13 years.
He is expected to lose his job after a misconduct hearing.
He was handed a three-year community order after admitting two counts of voyeurism and 10 counts of outraging public decency between October 2013 and May 2014.
Dwyer was a fireman in Hull for two years before joining the police in 2002 and was on duty patrolling Manchester city centre when he was arrested in May last year.
When officers searched his computer equipment at home they found a cache of secret films taken by him on a recording device.
Detectives seized a recording device in the pocket of his police uniform trousers and traced his Renault Megane car making repeated late-night trips to Chester.
Justin Hayhoe, prosecuting, told the court: “Examination of his computers revealed this was a man who had a fascination with Chester and areas frequented by students.
“He seemed to target women wearing high heels, short skirts, short dresses or short shorts.
“When he was interviewed he said he ‘absolutely admired a great pair of legs and a short skirt. The fitter the better’.”
Internet searches by Dwyer centred on Chester student accommodation, spy cameras, how best to record in low light and areas of Chester covered by CCTV cameras.
He had done similar searches on students and student areas in Sheffield and Stoke.
The court heard he committed the filming offences by using distraction techniques and he would often pretend to be talking on a mobile telephone.
On other occasions he would engage women in conversation, asking to get past them or suggesting he was a first aider who could assist them when they were intoxicated and had been vomiting.
Dwyer’s activities first came to the attention of police after reports of a man acting suspiciously at 1am on May 27, 2013 in the Green Lane area of Chester.
The defendant did not tell officers called to the scene that he was a fellow policeman and said he was researching properties in the area to let out to students.
But police later found out he repeatedly visited the student areas of Chester, always late at night or the early hours of the morning.
In May last year he was stopped again by police in Chester.
Officers searched his car and found ‘lubricant and clothing’, but Dwyer, who said he was a council worker, was again allowed to go on his way.
He was finally arrested on May 15 last year and police found the secret recordings after searching his flat.
His lawyer, Patrick Thompson, described him as ‘a figure of national shame’.
He said Dwyer’s behaviour was ‘sad and pathetic’ and he had thrown his career away.
Sentencing him, Judge Robert Atherton, said he targeted students.
“You chose to go at a time when students were likely to be on the streets and perhaps in conditions when they would not realise or properly interpret what you were doing,” he added.
He ordered Dwyer to go on a sex offenders course to address his behaviour and was given a five-year sexual offences prevention order, which prohibits him from having video recording equipment in a public place.
Detective Inspector Chris Packer, from Greater Manchester Police’s Counter Corruption Unit, said: “These videos were filmed without the knowledge of his victims, showing a complete lack of regard for their privacy, for his own sexual pleasure.
“The conduct of former PC Kevin Dwyer fell well short of what is expected of a police officer.
“Police officers, staff and the communities of Greater Manchester would be appalled by his actions, which detract from the hard work that our officers and staff do on a daily basis.
“Greater Manchester Police expects the very highest standards of all its officers and staff. They should be honest and act with integrity and should not compromise or abuse their position.”