944 police officers 'have criminal record'

 


More than 900 serving police officers and community support officers have a criminal record, official figures show.

Forces across England and Wales employ policemen and women with convictions including burglary, causing death by careless driving, robbery, supplying drugs, domestic violence, forgery and perverting the course of justice.

Those with criminal records include senior officers, among them two detective chief inspectors and one chief inspector working for the Metropolitan Police.

At least 944 currently serving officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) have a conviction, according to figures released by 33 of the 43 forces in England and Wales in response to Freedom of Information requests.

Many forces could not provide details of criminal records dating from before their staff joined the police, meaning the true figure will be significantly higher.

The Metropolitan Police, Britain's largest force, came top with 356 officers and 41 PCSOs with convictions.

It was followed by Kent Police (49), Devon and Cornwall Police (44), Essex Police (42), South Yorkshire Police (35), Hampshire Police (31) and West Midlands Police (27), although not all the figures are directly comparable.

The criminal records include:

* Devon and Cornwall Police - a Pc convicted of burglary as a teenager.

* Essex Police - one inspector convicted of dangerous driving; another inspector convicted of possessing and supplying cannabis; a detective constable convicted of robbery; a Pc convicted of data protection breaches for viewing intelligence records relating to friends, relatives or other people living in the local area, and a special constable convicted of stealing a set of car number plates, putting them on another vehicle and obtaining petrol without paying.

* Hertfordshire Police - a sergeant convicted of dangerous driving.

* Kent Police - a Pc convicted of perverting the course of justice in 1998.

* Merseyside Police - five officers convicted of assault and one convicted of causing death by careless driving.

* Norfolk Police - a Pc convicted of causing death by careless driving.

* North Wales Police - an officer convicted of forgery.

* Staffordshire Police - an inspector convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm and a Pc convicted of keeping a dangerous dog.

* Surrey Police - a detective constable convicted of obstructing police officers; a Pc convicted of wounding; a Pc convicted of drink driving in 1988 and resisting arrest a decade later, and a Pc convicted of animal suffering in 2006.

Most of the convictions are for traffic offences such as speeding and drink-driving, but the records also include a South Yorkshire Police officer convicted of fishing without a licence.

Home Office guidelines issued in 2003 say police officers should have "proven integrity" because they are vulnerable to pressure from criminals to reveal information.

The guidance says forces should reject potential recruits with convictions for serious offences - including causing actual bodily harm, burglary, dangerous driving and supplying drugs - unless there are "exceptionally compelling circumstances".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003