14 COPS FACE SEX PROBE
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”.