originally by: The Guardian
published: 29 June 2012
Sexual predators in the police are abusing their power to target victims of crime they are supposed to be helping, as well as fellow officers and female staff, the Guardian can reveal.
An investigation into the scale and extent of the problem suggests sexual misconduct could be more widespread than previously believed. The situation raises questions about the efficacy of the police complaints system, the police’s internal whistleblowing procedures, the vetting of officers and a failure to monitor disciplinary offences.
Police officers have been convicted or disciplined for a range of offences from rape and sexual assault to misconduct in public office relating to inappropriate sexual behaviour with vulnerable women they have met on duty. Others are awaiting trial for alleged offences, though many are never charged with a criminal offence and are dealt with via internal disciplinary procedures.
The problem is to a large extent hidden, as no official statistics are kept and few details are released about internal disciplinary action in such cases.
By analysing the data available – including court cases and misconduct proceedings – the Guardian has attempted to document the scale of the corruption for the first time.