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A TOTAL of 31 officers at Hampshire Police have convictions, figures reveal.

And 20 personnel at the Sussex force have also got into trouble with the law.

The figures were released by Hampshire and Sussex in response to Freedom of Information requests to all 43 forces in England and Wales.

Most of the convictions are for traffic offences such as speeding and drink-driving.

The Met Police came top with 356 officers and 41 PCSOs with convictions, followed by Kent Police with 49. Among the convictions were a sergeant convicted of dangerous driving and a PC convicted of burglary as a teenager, although these were not from Hampshire and Sussex.

In total more than 900 serving police officers and community support officers have a criminal record.

Home Office guidelines issued in 2003 say officers should have ‘proven integrity’ because they are vulnerable to pressure from criminals to reveal information. The guidance says forces should reject potential recruits with convictions for serious offences – including causing actual bodily harm, burglary, and supplying drugs – unless there are ‘exceptionally compelling circumstances’.