More than 1,000 police employees arrested in past four years, investigation reveals

Hundreds of police officers have been arrested in the past four years (Picture: PA)

More than 1,000 police employees have been arrested in the past four years, an investigation has found.

A series of Freedom of Information requests found that 1,190 workers from 31 police forces were arrested between 2015 and May 2019.

These include staff arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, as well as rape and other violent crimes.

On average, six police staff were arrested each week. Of the total figure, at least 913 were police officers.

The investigation, carried out by Newsquest's Data Investigations Unit, showed that Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Police had the highest percentage of both officers and workforce arrested.

Police workers were arrested for 142 sex offences in the past four years - 14 of which were rape.

The figures include 320 violent offences, including GBH and domestic violence.

Of the 913 police officers and 272 staff members arrested, at least 48 were imprisoned - with sentences totalling more than 56 years collectively.

Less than a quarter of those arrested - 24% - were dismissed by the force.

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Among those allowed to keep their jobs was Staffordshire Police officer Jason Bannister, who was jailed for 18 months last December for causing death by dangerous driving.

More than 1,000 police staff were arrested, the investigation found (Picture: PA)

Bannister, 45, was jailed for killing shopkeeper Balvinder Singh in Wolverhampton in December 2016.

He was banned from driving and issued with a final written warning by his force following the incident - but was retained in service.

At least 283 police staff have been sacked because of their arrest, while 137 resigned or retired before disciplinary proceedings concluded.

In 619 cases, there was no further action taken within the criminal justice system, but 43 final warnings were issued by forces, and at least 43 police officers or staff members were disqualified from driving.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We take integrity within policing very seriously.

"The vast majority of police officers and staff fulfil their duties to a very high standard and uphold the values of the Code of Ethics in serving their communities.

"Where officers fall short of these standards, the public rightly expects those officers to be investigated - particularly where a crime may have been committed.”

Craig Guildford, National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Professional Standards, said: "The vast majority of police officers and staff fulfil their duties in serving the public to the highest standard.

"Society rightly expects the police service to act with honesty and integrity.

"Any instance of conduct falling below that standard, or when a crime has been committed, will be dealt with directly based upon the evidence presented as nobody is above the law.”

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