UNITED KINGDOM: As per the reports, it was found that one out of every 100 police officers in England and Wales was charged with a crime, including a sexual crime, last year.
An investigation found that in 2022, the Police Federation, which is the union for police officers, got 1,387 requests for legal help from members who were facing criminal charges.
The number of police officers facing criminal charges has also gone up a lot since 2012—by 590 percent, to be exact. Only 235 requests for the Police Federation’s legal assistance were submitted by its members that year.
The Police Federation of England and Wales represents about 140,000 active and retired police officers. Each year, it spends millions of pounds on legal costs to defend police officers who are accused of serious misconduct or even crimes. Since the group is required for all police officers in England and Wales, they automatically become members when they join a force.
One advocacy group said that the federation was a “major obstacle” to addressing racism and sexism in the police and that it was always ready to “defend the indefensible.”
Last week, it came out that John Apter, who used to be the head of the federation, would not be charged with two counts of sexual assault. In December 2021, Apter was placed on administrative leave by Hampshire Constabulary and the Police Federation.
Police officers can be accused of everything from misbehaving in a public office to sending obscene messages on a public network to more serious crimes like sexual assault, murder, and even assault.
The new information coincides with an increase in instances of serious officer criminality. Former Met cop David Carrick was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month after raping, assaulting, and causing “irretrievable destruction” to at least 12 women.
Wayne Couzens, a police officer at the time, took 33-year-old Sarah Everard, raped and killed her, and then used his badge and shackles to do it. This month, it was made public that the authorities had numerous opportunities in the days, months, and even years prior to the murder of Everard to identify Couzens as a potential sex offender and a threat to women.
Last month, after learning that 150 officers were being investigated for sexual misconduct or racism, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley referred to it as “crazy” that he was unable to fire “toxic” officers suspected of committing major crimes.
Now, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has written to the home secretary, pleading with her to quickly push through new laws enabling police commanders to immediately dismiss rogue officers. Khan is frustrated that current laws require the Met to continue employing officers who have committed severe offenses, despite the Home Office’s ongoing review of policing’s dismissal procedures in response to the failure to have Carrick terminated as a serving officer.
Last week, it came out that a Met officer who had been caught masturbating twice in public on a train was still working for the police force even though he had only been given a written warning.
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