Police officers abusing their position for sexual gain is ‘the single largest form of corruption’, a watchdog has revealed.
Seventy were investigated last year up from just ten in 2016, said the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Between April 2018 and March this year, 66 faced misconduct proceedings following an investigation.
Seventy police officers were investigated for abusing their position for sexual gain last year, which was up from just ten in 2016, said the Independent Office for Police Conduct (file photo)
Forty-two of these were in the last 12 months of that period. Misconduct was proven in 63 cases.
Seven police officers or staff were also prosecuted for criminal offences, leading to six convictions of which three resulted in an immediate custodial sentence.
The watchdog’s deputy director general, Claire Bassett, said that recent events – including the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of firearms officer Wayne Couzens – served as a reminder that policing must root out this behaviour.
‘It’s really important that there is a culture in policing that has a zero tolerance of any form of behaviour that is insulting, is sexist, is homophobic – there is just no place for that in modern policing,’ she said.
‘We want to see forces sending out that message.’
Watchdog’s deputy director general said firearms officer Wayne Couzens kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard was a reminder that policing must root out this behaviour
Three weeks ago, Warwickshire Police investigator Alan Butler was jailed for 18 months over relationships he had with two women whose cases he was overseeing.
The ‘manipulative’ 64-year-old, a married father with more than 30 years’ service, targeted one victim when she reported her father for historic child sexual abuse.
He was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in a public office.
Chief Constable Lauren Poultney of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: ‘We recognise the need to identify signs of this form of corruption internally and have shared information and training for officers about this, as well as emphasising the channels to report it.’
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