Convicted of supplying drugs, burglary, assault, theft or fraud? Why not join the Police

January 12, 2012

12 Police Forces in England and Wales have refused to provide information relating to number of serving officers who have criminal/civil convictions. The forces are: Cambridgeshire, City of London, Cleveland, Durham, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, North Yorkshire, South Wales, Warwickshire, West Yorkshire and Wiltshire Police.

What are they hiding from the Public? Is it not within the public interest to know how many criminals are working for the above listed police forces? 4TheRecord has made requests under the Freedom of Information Act to the 12 police forces requesting number of serving police officers with convictions along with their offences since 2007. This request was made on the What Do They Know website which allows anyone to publicly make a Freedom of Information request. The following is a template that was sent to all 12 police forces:

Dear (Police Force Name),

Since 2007, how many police officers have worked and/or continue to work for (Police Force Name) whilst having criminal or civil convictions? Also could you supply a list of the offences along with the number of officers related to each offence?

This request is being made under the Freedom of Information Request. It’s within the Public Interest to know the answer to this question and any refusal will be treated as a sign of guilt that (Police Force Name) has something to hide from the Public. Namely how many of its officers are convicted criminals.

Yours faithfully,

James Alec Newman
4TheRecord.org

You can check out the requests and follow them by clicking on the links provided below for each of the 12 police forces.

Cambridgeshire

City of London

Cleveland

Durham

Gloucestershire

Lincolnshire

Northamptonshire

North Yorkshire

South Wales

Warwickshire

West Yorkshire – Request made by Louise Cooper

Wiltshire

Nearly 1,000 serving police officers and PCSOs have a criminal record

January 2, 2012

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”.

Almost 1,000 Police Officers Have Criminal Records, Including Senior Detectives

January 2, 2012

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. 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”.

Criminal Police: Full List Of Convictions By Force

This is a breakdown of how many serving police officers and community support officers with criminal convictions there are in each force in England and Wales. Some forces did not supply the information and others provided only a partial response, meaning that it is not always possible to compare the figures directly.

Avon and Somerset – 2 (excluding convictions as juveniles)
Bedfordshire – 4
Cambridgeshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost
Cheshire – 3
City of London – did not provide information on grounds of cost
Cleveland – did not reply to Freedom of Information request
Cumbria – 20
Derbyshire – 15
Devon and Cornwall – 44
Dorset – 16
Durham – did not provide full information on grounds of cost (but 4 PCSOs and specials had criminal convictions before they joined the force)
Dyfed-Powys – 4
Essex – 42
Gloucestershire – did not provide information on grounds of cost
Greater Manchester – 24
Gwent – none since July 2007
Hampshire – 31
Herts – 11
Humberside – 23
Kent – 49
Lancashire – 7
Leicestershire – 6 have received convictions since joining
Lincolnshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost
Merseyside – 22
Metropolitan Police – 356 officers since January 2002 and 41 PCSOs since April 2004
Norfolk – 4
Northamptonshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost
Northumbria – 10
North Wales – 23
North Yorkshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost (but none who were convicted while serving police officers)
Nottinghamshire – 8
South Wales – did not provide information on grounds of cost
South Yorkshire – 35
Staffordshire – 24
Suffolk – 13
Surrey – 23
Sussex – 20
Thames Valley – 23
Warwickshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost
West Mercia – 10
West Midlands – 27 since 2005 (excluding traffic offences)
West Yorkshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost
Wiltshire – did not provide information on grounds of cost

The criminals in uniform: Almost 1,000 officers with convictions from drug dealing to perverting justice are still in the police

January 3, 2012

More than 900 police officers  continue to serve despite being convicted of crimes including violence, robbery and fraud. Forces employ policemen and women with criminal records for assault, burglary, supplying drugs and perverting the course of justice. Among them are several senior officers, including two detective chief inspectors and a chief inspector working for the Metropolitan Police. In some cases continuing to employ officers appears to directly contradict Government guidelines which insist on ‘proven integrity’.  They highlight that people with convictions for certain offences, including assault, dangerous driving and burglary, should not be recruited. At least 944 serving officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) have a conviction. Most are for traffic offences such as speeding and drink-driving, but there are also offences of dishonesty and fraud.

Among the 944 are a Devon and Cornwall PC convicted of burglary as a teenager and officers in Essex convicted of dangerous driving, supplying cannabis and robbery. A volunteer special constable continues to serve despite being convicted of swiping a set of car number plates and using them to steal petrol from service stations. In Hertfordshire a sergeant was convicted of dangerous driving and a Kent PC has a 1998 conviction for perverting the course of justice. Five Merseyside officers have been convicted of assault and another has a criminal record for causing death by careless driving.  A North Wales officer was convicted of forgery and a Staffordshire Police inspector has a record for keeping a dangerous dog. A Surrey Police detective constable was convicted of obstructing police while others have records for wounding, drink driving and animal cruelty.

The total figure was revealed by 32 of the 43 forces in England and Wales in response to requests under freedom of information laws. Many could not provide details of criminal records dating from before their staff joined, meaning the true figure is likely to be higher. The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest force, employed the most staff with convictions, 356 officers and 41 PCSOs. It was followed by Kent (49), Devon and Cornwall (44), Essex (42), South Yorkshire (35), Hampshire (31) and West Midlands (27).  There are around 140,000 police officers, 15,000 PCSOs and 70,000 civilian staff  in the 43 forces. The figures emerged as a senior police officer insisted officers who resign before facing misconduct procedures are not being ‘let off the hook’. Commander Peter Spindler, of the Met, admitted more than 130 employees left Scotland Yard over the past year instead of facing disciplinary measures. But he said in many cases it is more ‘pragmatic’ to let them resign, and said complaints against police are falling. Simon Reed, vice president of the Police Federation, said misconduct panels decide whether an officer should be dismissed after considering each case.

Almost 1000 PCSOs and police officers have a criminal record

January 3, 2012

MORE than 900 serving police officers and community support officers have a criminal record, including almost 60 who work in Yorkshire, according to official figures made public yesterday. The statistics show forces across the country employ officers with convictions for burglary, causing death by careless driving, robbery, supplying drugs, forgery and perverting the course of justice. Figures show 58 Yorkshire officers have convictions, but the true figure is likely to be higher because while South Yorkshire and Humberside Police provided figures, West and North Yorkshire Police refused. Most of the convictions detailed by forces 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. At least 944 serving officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) have a conviction, with the Metropolitan Police top of the league of shame with 356 officers and 41 PCSOs with convictions.

It was followed by Kent Police with 49, Devon and Cornwall Police with 44, Essex Police with 42 and South Yorkshire Police with 35, although not all the figures are directly comparable. The details, released in response to Freedom of Information requests, show one inspector in Essex was convicted of possessing and supplying cannabis and a sergeant in Hertfordshire of dangerous driving. In Merseyside five officers have assault convictions, while one has been convicted of causing death by careless driving. A Norfolk Police constable also had a conviction for causing death by careless driving, while in North Wales an officer was convicted of forgery. Home Office guidelines issued in 2003 say that 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 unless there are “exceptionally compelling circumstances”. The conviction figures were released at the same time as senior police defended themselves against allegations that many officers escape punishment for misconduct by quitting their jobs. According to the latest figures, chiefs let more than 130 employees walk out at Scotland Yard alone over the past year instead of making them face a misconduct panel. The force sacked 43 officers over the same period. But with police conduct under “unprecedented” scrutiny, Commander Peter Spindler, the Metropolitan Police’s discipline chief, insisted he was not letting corrupt officers off the hook. Mr Spindler, head of the force’s directorate of professional standards, said in many cases “it’s actually more pragmatic to let them resign”.

Senior officers have been angered by a recent report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) claiming forces were failing to respond to “far too many” complaints about officers. Mr Spindler said the public needed to accept “we don’t live in a perfect world”. Across the country, more than 6,000 people were forced to appeal to the IPCC this year, 1,200 after complaints were ignored by police, according to Deborah Glass, of the police watchdog. But Mr Spindler said: “We have managed to reduce complaints by nine per cent over the 12-month rolling period. “Ignore what the IPCC is saying because it is 10 months out of date. It’s been a lot of hard work to get here.”

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