UK

Police convictions: How did your force respond?

Office Image copyright Met Police

At least 309 police officers and police community support officers (PSCOs) in the UK have been convicted of criminal offences in the last three years, according to figures released after a Freedom of Information request.

The Press Association asked how many officers and PCSOs had been convicted of criminal offences since 2012, and the total number of serving officers with criminal convictions. Out of 45 forces, 25 gave figures. Here is a breakdown of responses by force:

  • Avon and Somerset Police said none of its officers had been convicted of criminal offences between 2012 and 8 June 2015. Nine serving police officers and one PCSO have criminal convictions, the force said, all of which were for historic offences before they were recruited. Avon and Somerset Police said the information it provided did not include driving offences, cautions, or penalty notices for disorder.
  • Bedfordshire Police said it would exceed the fee limit set out under the Freedom of Information Act to retrieve the data. However, it said searches within the force's professional standards department found no serving officers had criminal convictions.
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary refused to answer the request. The force said the amount of time required to respond would be over the limit set out by the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Cheshire Constabulary said eight officers had been convicted of criminal offences since 2012. A male detective constable was convicted of possession of a class A drug and misconduct in public office in December 2012, the force said. A male police constable was cautioned for misconduct in public office for "sexual activity" in 2013, while another was cautioned for forging a prescription in 2014. Also in 2014, a female detective constable was given a restraining order and fined for harassment for sending threatening text messages, a male detective constable was cautioned for a public order offence after getting involved in a fracas, a male PC was convicted of criminal damage and another PC was convicted of shoplifting. In 2015, a male PC was convicted of misconduct in public office for "sexual advances". The Cheshire force refused to name the officers, saying it would breach data protection laws. The force said 21 serving officers and PCSOs had convictions.
  • City of London Police said it would cost too much to retrieve the information under freedom of information laws.
  • Cleveland Police said no serving police officers had been found guilty of a criminal offence in the last four financial years. The force said there were 11 serving police officers and six PCSOs with a conviction, as of June 8 this year.
  • Cumbria Constabulary did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • Derbyshire Constabulary said it would cost too much to retrieve the information.
  • Devon and Cornwall Police said five police officers and five PCSOs had been convicted of criminal offences from 2012. They were all male and were no longer serving with the force. The force refused to name the former officers, saying it would breach data protection laws. One officer was convicted of possessing indecent images of children, two were convicted of indecent exposure and two for data protection offences. Other convictions included actual bodily harm, drink driving, fraud and perverting the course of justice, misconduct in public office and theft.
  • Devon and Cornwall Police said five serving police officers and PCSOs had criminal convictions but most were "prior to recruitment and as juveniles".
  • Dorset Police did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • Durham Constabulary said a male police constable was convicted in 2012 for possessing indecent images of children on a personal computer. A male PCSO was also convicted of common assault on a female member of the public while on duty in 2013. The force refused to disclose the names of the convicted officers saying it would breach the principles of the Data Protection Act. It said eight serving police officers and one PCSO had criminal convictions.
  • Essex Police said no serving police officers had been convicted of a criminal offence since 2012. Ten officers within the force have criminal convictions, two of which were convicted after they joined the force for drink driving. They include a PC convicted of robbery, a special constable convicted of theft and a PC convicted of actual bodily harm, driving whilst disqualified and endangering persons on the railway. The most recent conviction against a currently serving officer is recorded in 2009, Essex Police said.
  • Gloucestershire Constabulary said it would cost too much to retrieve the information.
  • Greater Manchester Police said 12 police officers and five PCSOs have been convicted of criminal offences since 2012. A male sergeant was convicted of misconduct in public office, a male inspector was convicted of fraud and a male PC was convicted of possession of class B drugs. Other offences included perjury, theft, harassment, possession of offensive weapons, perverting the course of justice and driving offences. GMP refused to disclose the names of the officers convicted of offences because it would breach the principles of the Data Protection Act. Five police officers and five PCSOs currently serving with the force have criminal convictions.
  • Gwent Police did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • Hampshire Constabulary said a male police officer was convicted for urinating in a public place in 2012. A male police officer was also convicted of animal neglect in 2013. The force did not name the officer because they said it would breach the Data Protection Act or publish the total number of officers with convictions in its response.
  • Hertfordshire Constabulary said it only held records of officers convicted while serving, not for those with a historic conviction prior to joining the force. The force said it would exceed the cost and time limits under Freedom of Information laws to retrieve the relevant information. However, a search of the professional standards department database found that three officers had been convicted of a criminal offence since 2013 but none of them continued to serve. One male officer was convicted of common assault in 2013, another was convicted of driving with excess alcohol in 2014, and a female officer was convicted of failing to provide a specimen of breath.
  • Humberside Police said four police officers had been convicted of criminal offences since 2012. A male PCSO was convicted of sexual offences in 2012, a male special constable was convicted of a traffic offence in 2012, a male PC was convicted a traffic offence in 2013 and a male PC was convicted of assault in 2015. It said two officers currently serving with the force had criminal convictions for traffic offences.
  • Kent Police said eight police officers had been convicted of offences since 2012. Seven officers were convicted of speeding, while a male PC was found guilty of common assault but is appealing his conviction. A total of 43 serving police officers and PCSOs within the force have criminal convictions.
  • Lancashire Police did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • Leicestershire Police did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • Lincolnshire Police refused to answer the request, arguing it would cost too much to retrieve the information.
  • Merseyside Police said it needed more time to respond to the request.
  • The Metropolitan Police said it would exceed the fee limit set out under freedom of information laws to find out the total number of serving officers with convictions. However, the force provided previously published data which showed 178 police officers had been convicted of offences from 2012 to March 31 2005. Fifty-four of the officers were still serving with the force, including 10 who were awaiting the conclusion of misconduct review hearings. Convictions involving Met police officers last year included two sexual offences, four violence against the person offences, three thefts, six offences of misconduct in public office and 19 traffic offences.
  • Norfolk Police said a male constable was convicted of fraud in 2014, a male constable was convicted of harassment in 2014 and a female constable was convicted of a public order offence in 2013. The force refused to disclose the names of the officers, saying it would breach the Data Protection Act. Four serving police officers within the force have criminal convictions.
  • North Wales Police said six police officers and one PCSO had been convicted of a criminal offence since 2012. In 2012, a male sergeant was convicted of driving without a licence and while using a mobile phone, a male constable was convicted of careless driving and a male PC was cautioned for a data protection offence. In 2013, a male PC was convicted of drink driving and a female PC was convicted of assault, while in 2014, a male constable was convicted of a sexual offence and a male PCSO was convicted of speeding. The North Wales force refused to name the officers, saying it would breach the Data Protection Act. The force said 26 serving police officers and four PCSOs had a criminal conviction.
  • North Yorkshire Police said the cost of retrieving the relevant information exceeds the "appropriate level" set out by Freedom of Information laws.
  • Northamptonshire Police said none of its officers had been found guilty of a criminal offence in court since 2012. The force said it would exceed the cost and time limits under Freedom of Information laws to establish the total number of serving officers with a criminal conviction.
  • Northumbria Police refused to answer the request, arguing it would exceed the cost limit set out by the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Nottinghamshire Police said four officers had been convicted of criminal offences since 2012. Two were driving offences, another was a traffic offence and a male police constable was convicted of common assault. The force did not give a reason why it had not disclosed the names of the convicted officers. Six serving officers and three PCSOs had criminal convictions, Nottinghamshire Police said.
  • Police Scotland refused to answer the freedom of information request on cost grounds.
  • The Police Service of Northern Ireland said 36 of its officers had been convicted at court since 1 January 2012, of which 15 were dismissed, required to resign or resigned. Misconduct proceedings are ongoing in four cases.
  • South Wales Police refused the request for information on cost grounds.
  • South Yorkshire Police did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • Staffordshire Police refused to answer the requests, arguing it would exceed the time and cost limits under Freedom of Information laws to retrieve the information.
  • Suffolk Police said a male sergeant was convicted of harassment in 2013 and a male constable was convicted of a Data Protection Act offence in 2013. The force refused to disclose the names of the officers, saying it would breach the Data Protection Act. Six serving police officers and PCSOs have criminal convictions, the force said.
  • Surrey Police said three police officers had been convicted of offences since 2012 - all in the year 2014. The force said two of the officers had been named in media reports. PC Roger Toms was convicted of stealing groceries from a supermarket, while PC Stuart Parker was convicted of stealing from a police tuck shop. However the force did not name a female PC convicted of fraud last year. It said 40 serving police officers and PCSOs had criminal convictions.
  • Sussex Police said four male police constables and a male police sergeant had been convicted of driving offences since 2012. It refused to name the convicted officers. A force spokesman said: "To disclose the identity of the officers would be a breach of the First Principle of the Data Protection Act 1998." Sussex Police said it was unable to provide information prior to 2013 as it would require a manual search of every officer's personnel files.
  • Thames Valley Police refused to answer the Freedom of Information request on cost grounds.
  • Warwickshire Police did not respond to the Freedom of Information request.
  • West Mercia Police said six police officers had been convicted of offences since 2012. A male sergeant was convicted of drink driving in 2014, a male PC was convicted of using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause fear of/provoke unlawful violence in 2013 and a male PC was convicted of misconduct in public office in 2013. In 2012, a male PC was convicted of sexual assault on a female, another was convicted of theft from a motor vehicle and a female PC was convicted of drink driving. The force refused to disclose the names of the officers because it would breach the Data Protection Act. It also refused to say how many serving police officers had criminal convictions because the cost of retrieving the information would exceed the fee limit set out by the Freedom of Information Act.
  • West Midlands Police said 35 police officers had been convicted of criminal offences since 2012. Details of offences include a male officer who was convicted in 2012 of gross indecency with a girl under 16. In 2014 a male officer was convicted of sexual activity with a child under 16. A female detective sergeant was convicted in 2014 of allowing a dog to worry sheep. In the same year a female police officer was convicted of harassment of an ex-partner. Twenty five serving police officers and PCSOs within the force have convictions, the force said.
  • West Yorkshire Police said it could provide information from 2013 onwards and in that time 10 police officers and one PCSO were convicted of criminal offences. They included Detective Chief Superintendent David Knopwood, who was sacked for gross misconduct last year after admitting driving while twice the legal alcohol limit. Two male officers and a female officer were convicted assaults, three male officers were convicted of drink driving, two male officers were convicted of drink driving and one male officer was convicted of fraud. A female PCSO was also convicted of theft. The force did not name the officers who were convicted of offences. It also refused to say how many officers in the force had a criminal conviction because retrieving the information would exceed the time limit set out under Freedom of Information laws.
  • Wiltshire Police said no serving police officers or PCSOs had been convicted of offences since 2012. The force refused to reveal how many officers within the force had criminal convictions, arguing it would exceed the fee limit set out under the Freedom of Information Act to retrieve the data.

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