Editorial: The absurd laxity of Britain's police


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The Independent Online

There is much to be applauded in the latest efforts to root out corruption in the police. In fact, amid the Home Secretary’s plans to expand the Independent Police Complaints Commission, create a national list of struck-off officers, and require the declaration of all gifts, hospitality and second jobs, the truly glaring question is how such simple strictures come not to be in place already.

Perhaps the most striking example of all is the ruling that officers with a history of sexual or financial misconduct may no longer become chief constables. Is it really possible that, until now, such a background was no bar to advancement? Apparently so. And yet two candidates in last year’s Police Commissioner elections were forced to withdraw because of minor offences committed in early youth. Full marks to Theresa May for her attempts to tackle such preposterous laxity; not a moment too soon.