Sexual misconduct allegations against Suffolk police officers revealed under FoI laws
- Credit: Archant
A string of sexual misconduct allegations against Suffolk police officers, including sexual assault and inappropriate touching, have been revealed under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws.
According to the statistics, nine complaints of a sexual nature were made by members of the public against Suffolk officers over the past five years.
None of the complaints resulted in further action and many were not upheld.
The FoI figures also detailed the force's 15 conduct cases over the past five years, which included an officer seeking to engage in an improper relationship in 2017. That officer was sacked following a misconduct hearing.
An officer who engaged in sexual activity while on duty was handed a final written warning in 2016.
One officer resigned before he could be dismissed for beginning an inappropriate relationship in 2019, while a special constable also left the force in 2017 while being investigated for possessing indecent images.
There was no case to answer in 2019 for an officer accused of a historic rape.
On Wednesday, the government announced a crackdown on sexual harassment, which includes a public campaign "focused on creating behavioural change".
The strategy followed a public consultation taking in evidence from 180,000 people - the vast majority during a two-week period following the murder of Sarah Everard.
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A spokesman for Suffolk police said the force takes complaints against officers and staff "very seriously".
“Police officers and staff are expected to deliver the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour," the spokesman said.
"These standards reflect the expectations the public have of how officers and staff should behave.
"Suffolk Constabulary takes any complaints against our officers and staff very seriously and all evidence is carefully and objectively reviewed by the Professional Standards Department both from a criminal and misconduct perspective.
“Where there is an indication that an officer may have committed a criminal act, evidence is presented to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to seek advice as to whether any further action would be appropriate.
“In cases of gross misconduct, and in cases where it is considered inappropriate for the employee(s) involved in misconduct to remain in their normal place of work, consideration will be given to precautionary suspension, or redeployment elsewhere.
“Any such suspension will be with full pay and does not indicate a presumption of guilt. Precautionary suspensions will last as long as required whilst a thorough investigation of the allegations takes place.”