14 COPS FACE SEX PROBE

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By KARL GRAFTON

FOUR­TEEN po­lice of­fi­cers and staff in one force are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for sex­ual of­fences.

Devon and Corn­wall po­lice say the num­ber in­cludes both crim­i­nal and dis­ci­plinary in­ves­ti­ga­tions by its pro­fes­sional stan­dards depart­ment.

Its chief con­sta­ble said peo­ple had the right to ex­pect their po­lice force to show “val­ues and be­hav­iour be­fit­ting those in pub­lic of­fice” as the de­tails were re­leased un­der the Freedom of In­for­ma­tion Act.

Any­one fall­ing be­low that stan­dard would be dealt with “ro­bustly”, Chief Con­sta­ble Shaun Sawyer said. “I ex­pect the ut­most in­tegrity, hon­esty and pro­fes­sion­al­ism from all of my staff at all times.”

He said the “ac­tions of a self­ish few” im­pacted ad­versely on the hard work and rep­u­ta­tion of the force.

Any al­le­ga­tions against of­fi­cers and staff of a se­ri­ous na­ture, such as in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual be­hav­iour, were as­sessed by pro­fes­sional stan­dards and, if nec­es­sary, re­ferred to the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC), he said, adding. “Where ap­pro­pri­ate, in­di­vid­u­als are dis­missed and in some cases where there are crim­i­nal al­le­ga­tions which are proven at court, im­pris­oned.”

The force said the out­come of all 14 in­ves­ti­ga­tions had “yet to be de­ter­mined”.

When Re­druth Po­lice Com­mu­nity Sup­port Of­fi­cer Peter Bun­yan was jailed for mis­con­duct in a pub­lic of­fice ear­lier this year, the IPCC pub­licly ex­pressed con­cern at the num­ber of cases across Eng­land and Wales where po­lice of­fi­cers had tar­geted vul­ner­a­ble women for sex and urged all forces to do “ev­ery­thing in their power to stop such abuse of power”.

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