Police shame as devastating statistics show true horror of sexual impropriety claims


A catalogue of allegations includes 370 incidents of sexual assault, 100 accusations of rape and 18 child sex offences over the past four years. The figures, revealed for the first time, show serious allegations and proven sexual misconduct now touch every force in the country.

The disturbing picture will be the subject of a special Channel 4 Dispatches programme tonight called Cops on Trial.

It is being screened less than a fortnight after rouge cop Wayne Couzens was handed a whole-life term for the murder of Sarah Everard in a case that sparked national outrage.

Twisted Couzens admitted the kidnap, rape and murder of the 33-year-old marketing executive, falsely arresting her for a breach of Covid guidelines.

Dispatches used Freedom of Information laws to get responses from 39 of Britain’s 43 forces.

They revealed only eight percent of allegations led to dismissal and even in upheld cases of sexual misconduct, dismissals were less than one third.

Nearly two-thirds of allegations led to no action (because cases were either not upheld, there was deemed no case to answer, the probe was discontinued or no further action was taken).

Nearly one third of accused officers had previously been reported for some kind of misconduct (not necessarily of a sexual nature), raising questions about the robustness of vetting.

The programme was also given access to research conducted by Bournemouth University and supported by the National Police Chief’s Council.

It comprises 514 proven cases of sexual misconduct across 33 forces over the last five years. The research found that of those who were victims of police officers 40 percent were victims of previous domestic abuse, 20 percent had mental health issues and 25 percent had suffered previous sexual assault.

The programme suggests in many instances some police officers are deliberately targeting women who were known to be vulnerable.

The most common type is abuse of position for a sexual purpose in which an officer uses their power to strike up a relationship with a victim for a sexually motivated purpose.

One victim was raped after a night out in Preston, Lancashire, with her case assigned to DC Jatinder Bunger.

As part of his investigation, Bunger took her phone to review images she had taken of her injuries as evidence. When she met the officer she was appalled to be shown her own photographs ‑ including images of her in underwear ‑ that were not related to her case. 

They had been taken off her phone by Bunger, and further investigation showed he had targeted four other women ‑ some victims of crimes he was sent to investigate. 

He took intimate images from some of their phones, sent sexual messages and made unnecessary home visits to one of them. 

He was found guilty of five counts of misconduct in a public office and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Bournemouth University research also shows 15 percent of the proven cases they analysed involved those at Sergeant rank or higher and 30 officers were at a senior level of Inspector and above. 

The highest-ranking officer in a proven case of sexual misconduct was an Assistant Chief Constable.

Of the 514 proven cases each offender, on average, already had six general disciplinaries or allegations on their record. Nearly half were the subject of intelligence logs suggesting they may be involved in sexual behaviour. These are anonymous tip-offs handed to police and could cover anything from extra-marital affairs to information on sexual offences.

Louise Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs Council Lead for Violence and Public Protection, said: “We are really concerned to hear about every single one of those allegations. We absolutely must, in policing, get to the bottom of what might have been behind these cases.

“Anybody in policing who faces misconduct proceedings that serious would cause all kinds of concerns for us but if there is no legal avenue open to us, we would be really cautious about the way someone is employed and the monitoring and support we might put around that individual and their colleagues to prevent anything happening again.

“We have robust systems…but we’re not getting it right enough of the time. We know very sadly, a small number of people are attracted to policing because of the power, the control and the opportunity it affords them.”

Last week North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott, who is paid £74,400, sparked fury after saying women “need to be streetwise”, adding Ms Everard should never have “submitted” to Couzens.

After nationwide anger at his insensitive comment he apologised and said he wanted to retract what he said. More than 1,000 people have since demanded his resignation.

Cops on Trial: Dispatches All4 and Channel 4 10pm tonight



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