On 1st June 2015 The Chronicle reported on the findings of a recent Freedom of Information Act request made to nationwide Police Forces. The findings have revealed some interesting figures regarding the number of criminal offences serving Police officers have been convicted of over recent years.
The figures showed that of the 28 Police Forces who cooperated with the request a total of 498 offences were committed by Police officers across the county in the past five years.
Within the figures recently revealed it was confirmed that 17 Northumbria Police officers have been found guilty of having committed criminal offences in the last four years. These crimes included amongst others sexual assault, fraud and gross misconduct in a public office.
One of the most notable cases of Police officer offending occurred in 2010 when Northumbria Police Officer Stephen Mitchell was convicted of multiple sexual offences against several vulnerable persons. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 for these offences. Our Richard Hardy, Head of our Actions Against the Police department, has previously successfully pursued compensation claims on behalf of some of the victims of these offences.
Whilst the reported figures indicate the number of offending Police officers remains low (which we would hope is the case) it is still surprising to read of the number of serving officers whose behaviour has fallen far below the standards members of the community expect.