Nearly 20 police leave over ‘sex misconduct’

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NEARLY 20 Hampshire Police employees have left the force over ‘sexually predatory’ behaviour, a report has revealed.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found Hampshire police takes seriously abuse of power for sexual gain.

But in a report saying hundreds of police officers nationwide have been accused of abusing their power to sexually exploit people, including vulnerable victims of crime, the watchdog said 18 people had left Hampshire Police over a period of four years in connection to sex-linked gross misconduct.

Data collected by the watchdog identified 436 reported allegations of abuse of authority for sexual gain received by forces in England and Wales in the two years to the end of March.

The allegations covered a total of 334 police personnel, comprising 306 officers, 20 PCSOs and eight police staff.

The report - commissioned by prime minister Thersa May when she was home secretary - reveled that ess than half (48 per cent) of the 436 reported allegations had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

‘The force recognises the abuse of authority for sexual gain (taking advantage of a position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime) as serious corruption,’ the report, published today, said about Hampshire police.

‘It routinely seeks information and intelligence relating to corruption from non-policing bodies, and has plans to extend this to organisations such as women’s refuges.’

The report found staff and officers understand the importance of treating people with fairness and respect, they are good at identifying risks posed by misconduct and corruption and want to treat staff fairly.

However, HMIC found that 1,000 people who had been in the job for more than 10 years had not been re-vetted.

The vetting process for those staff was suspended after county council staff had to vet new recruits.

Four staff have been recruited to help.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said: ‘I have judged that Hampshire Constabulary as “good” at legitimately keeping people safe and reducing crime.

‘In 2015, when we last reported on the legitimacy of force, the force was also judged to be good.

‘We found that the force is good at treating the public it serves fairly and with respect.

‘This is in no small part thanks to the force’s commitment to the Code of Ethics, which is reflected in the force’s values and mission.

‘It’s a very positive sign that the force actively seeks feedback from the public and is working hard to improve how it responds to feedback.

‘I would like to see this done more consistently across the force, as it can be a great way to improve public confidence in its work.’