Hundreds of British police officers guilty of serious crimes
Hundreds of British police officers have been found guilty of serious crimes including sex offences, drug use and possession of indecent images of children over the past three years, according to new figures.
Newly released data show a shocking 309 officers as well as lower tier police community support officers (PCSOs) were convicted of offences since 2012.
The figures, requested by the Press Association from 45 forces only found 25 responses, suggesting the actual number of convictions is likely to be much higher than expected.
The information identifies the most senior figure involved in the convictions is a former West Yorkshire police detective chief superintendent, David Knopwood, who was discharged after being found guilty of drink driving almost twice over the legal limit.
The data highlights 178 Metropolitan police officers have been convicted of crimes between 2012 and March of this year, 54 of whom are currently serving. Meanwhile, 12 police officers and five PCSOs in the Greater Manchester region are also mentioned in the data for fraud and possession of drugs among other crimes.
Two officers in Devon and Cornwall were found guilty of indecent exposure in 2012 while two others were guilty of possessing indecent images of children.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The government will finish the job of police reform and introduce legislation later this year. It will overhaul the police complaints and disciplinary systems, strengthen protections for police whistleblowers and change the role, powers and governance of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the remit of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.”
Lucy Hastings, director of the charity Victim Support, said: “Victims of crime will clearly find these figures alarming. It is critical that victims know they can trust the police so that they have confidence to report crimes.”
Meanwhile, a London-based social activist believes the revelation is indeed a reflection of a wider pattern within the police force.
“I think it is indicative of a wider pattern within the police force… There is a culture within police that allows this kind of behaviors that perpetuate and continue,” Geoff Dexter told Press TV on Friday.
Fresh data obtained as part of the ongoing Press Association investigation exposed at least 295 police officers with current convictions are still serving the British public.