Brothel-running, child abuse images, and selling firearms among nearly 200 crimes committed by police in last three years

Brothel-keeping and child porn among police officers’ crimes

Serving police officers have been found guilty of nearly 200 crimes in the past three years, with some actively using their positions for illegal gain.

Police forces across the country have arrested their own officers for a range of offences – including some as serious as running a brothel, possession of child abuse images, and selling firearms – Freedom of Information requests by The Independent have revealed.

At least 179 crimes have been committed by officers in the past three years, a figure which the former deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick, described as “very worrying”.

The reports show that officers are guilty of serious crimes including sexual assault, possession of cocaine, using excessive force and lying on a crime report form relating to a rape case.

The reports also show that dozens of officers are caught speeding and drink-driving every year – with many escaping with little more than a written warning.

In July 2010, two firearms training officers were convicted for selling guns that they had obtained during their employment with Durham Constabulary. Another officer from the same force was found guilty of possessing child pornography on his personal computer in 2012.

Jon Stoddart, Durham’s chief constable at the time of the convictions, condemned the officers. “They were criminals whose conduct was beneath contempt,” he said. “These officers brought disgrace to the uniform they wore and the good name of Durham Constabulary.”

In 2012, a police constable with Northumbria police resigned after he was found guilty of running a brothel, supplying a class C drug, money laundering and one offence under the Consumer Credit Act. Another officer leaked sensitive police information to “associates” from a confidential force database.

In one case last year, a Hampshire police officer was fined £4,030 for abusing a domestic cat and was banned from keeping pets for 12 months.

The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest force, had the most offences among the 31 of 46 regional forces that responded to our request. They arrested 46 of their own officers for offences committed whilst on-duty – including one cop who conspired to sell controlled drugs in 2010.

In 2013, a Metropolitan police officer was caught speeding at 102mph in a 50mph limit. Another resigned after being convicted of stalking and harassment while on duty.

A spokesperson for the Met said: “Only a tiny minority of our officers fall below the very high standards expected of them. Those that do are dealt with robustly, either through the criminal law or police misconduct procedures.

 Greater Manchester Police has the second highest number of officer convictions (26) – including seven constables caught drink-driving, three arrested for domestic assault and one case of “sexual assault/rape”.

Michael Cunningham, head of professional standards at the Association of Chief Police Officers, says that many criminal officers “choose to resign” before facing a misconduct panel and are only reinstated on “rare occasions”

However, in the Met, nearly half of convicted officers were reinstated by the force after committing crimes, including speeding, dangerous driving and fraud. Four officers escaped disciplinary proceedings by resigning after committing serious offences such as stalking, causing injury to a police dog and conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.

Kent police, who reinstated six officers found guilty of speeding and drink-driving said: “Just like all people, police officers sometimes make mistakes. Any offences committed by officers or staff are investigated in the same way as anyone else, but are also subject to disciplinary action from the force.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'