Police and community support officers across the country are still in service despite having criminal records for offences including burglary, causing death by careless driving, robbery, supplying drugs, domestic violence, forgery and preventing the course of justice.
More than 900 officers have been convicted of offenses according to Freedom of Information responses, The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, The Times and The Telegraph report. And only 32 of the 43 forces responded to the requests.
The Independent also reports officers that have broken the law include senior staff like two detective chief inspectors and one chief inspector. Most of the offences relate traffic violations like speeding and drink-driving, but some are more serious. The Telegraph reports that a Devon and Cornwall constable was convicted of burglary as a teenager and that an Essex police inspector was convicted of possessing and supplying cannabis.
The Daily Mail stresses that some of the data collected from the 32 forces refer only to the officers’ criminal record after they joined the force, so the actual figure may be higher. The Mirror reveals London’s Metropolitan Police, the largest force in Britain, as the top of the list, employing 356 officers and 41 PCSOs with convictions.
Previously released information has already showed scores of officers facing misconduct allegations have been allowed to avoid punishment by quitting.
Recession may affect freedom of information
The Information Commissioner has warned the economic recession may have devastating consequences for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. The technology website CIO reports that Christopher Graham said those dealing with information security and access to information are “under real pressure, hit by the double whammy of increasing demands for information from citizens and consumers on the one hand and reduced resourcing on the other”.