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Nine Devon & Cornwall police officers have criminal convictions

Nine Devon & Cornwall police officers have criminal convictions

Published by Helen Down at 1:39pm 10th July 2020. (Updated at 1:47pm 10th July 2020)

Police forces across the UK employ at least 211 officers and PCSOs who have been convicted of criminal offences, a Sky News investigation has found.

But the actual number is likely to be much higher as just a third of UK police forces revealed how many of their serving officers had broken the law.

Sky News sent freedom of information requests to the UK's 45 territorial police forces, as well as British Transport Police and the Ministry of Defence Police, asking for details of police officers' convictions.

Here is a breakdown of their responses. For the full story, click here.

Avon and Somerset Police said 14 serving officers had criminal convictions - 13 police constables and a sergeant.

  • Two officers have been convicted of burglary
  • Two officers have been convicted of common assault
  • Two officers have been convicted of theft
  • Four officers have been convicted of disorder
  • One officer has been convicted of a S39 assault
  • One officer has been convicted of criminal damage
  • One officer has been convicted of obtaining money by deception
  • One officer has been convicted of careless driving

Bedfordshire Police refused to reveal if any serving officers have criminal convictions, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information.

British Transport Police refused to reveal how many officers had been convicted of criminal offences, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information.

Cambridgeshire Police said two serving officers had criminal convictions but refused to provide any further details, saying there would be "harm in disclosure".

Cheshire Police said 18 police officers or PCSOs employed by the force have criminal convictions but refused to provide any further information, saying it would breach the Data Protection Act.

City of London Police said it did not currently employ any officers with criminal convictions.

Cleveland Police refused to reveal how many of their officers had been convicted of criminal offences, saying it would take too much time to retrieve the information.

Cumbria Police refused to reveal how many officers currently employed by the force have criminal convictions, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information.

Derbyshire Police refused to reveal how many of their serving officers have criminal convictions, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information.

Devon and Cornwall Police said nine serving police officers have criminal convictions.

  • A police constable has a conviction for drink driving
  • A police constable has a conviction for Data Protection Act offences
  • A police constable has a conviction for careless driving
  • Two police constables have convictions for speeding
  • Four police constables have convictions for driving without due care and attention

Dorset Police said seven officers employed by the force have criminal convictions.

  • A constable has convictions for burglary and ABH
  • A constable has convictions for theft and ABH
  • A constable has a conviction for causing unnecessary cruelty to a protected animal
  • A sergeant has a conviction for theft by finding
  • A sergeant has a conviction for unauthorised taking of a vehicle/cycle
  • A sergeant has a conviction for a public order offence
  • A constable has a conviction for a public order offence

Sky News did not receive a response from Durham Police.

Dyfed Powys Police refused to reveal how many officers had been convicted of criminal offences, saying it would cost too much and take too much time to retrieve the information.

Essex Police said a PCSO had been convicted of drink driving and driving offences.

Gloucestershire Police refused to reveal how many officers had criminal convictions, saying it would cost too much and take too much time to retrieve the information.

Sky News did not receive a response from Greater Manchester Police.

Sky News did not receive a response from Gwent Police.

Sky News did not receive a response from Hampshire Police.

Hertfordshire Police said no serving officers have criminal convictions.

Humberside Police said no serving officers have criminal convictions.

Kent Police said 22 serving officers have criminal convictions including five officers ranked "inspector or above".

  • An "inspector or above" has a conviction for common assault
  • An "inspector or above" has convictions for criminal damage and speeding
  • A constable has a conviction for common assault
  • An "inspector or above" has a conviction for "excess breath alcohol"
  • Two "inspectors or above" have convictions for driving without due care
  • A sergeant has a conviction for driving without due care and "excess breath alcohol"
  • Six constables have convictions for speeding
  • Four sergeants have convictions for speeding
  • A constable has a conviction for driving without due care
  • Two constables have convictions for careless driving
  • A constable has a conviction for using mobile whilst driving
  • A constable has a conviction of driving without due care

Lancashire Police refused to reveal how many of their officers had been convicted of criminal offences, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information.

Leicestershire Police said two serving police officers have criminal convictions but did not reveal their ranks.

  • One officer was convicted of public order and malicious communications
  • One officer was convicted over computer misuse and data protection

Leicestershire Police said it did not hold information on officers or PCSOs who received a criminal conviction prior to joining the force.

Sky News did not receive a response from Lincolnshire Police.

Merseyside Police said it needed more time to decide whether to release the information after a month considering the freedom of information request.

The Metropolitan Police said it needed more time to decide whether to release the information after a month considering the freedom of information request.

The Ministry of Defence Police said seven serving police officers have criminal convictions, although data was only held from 2013.

  • A police constable has a conviction for criminal damage
  • A police constable has a conviction for breach of the peace
  • Five police constables have convictions for speeding

Norfolk Police said three serving officers had criminal convictions, all of which happened before they joined the force.

  • A constable was convicted of battery
  • A constable was convicted of possessing an imitation firearm in a public place
  • A constable was convicted of having a fraudulent vehicle excise licence

North Wales Police said 20 officers and five PCSOs employed by the force have criminal convictions.

  • A sergeant has a conviction for assault
  • A sergeant and a constable have convictions for drug possession
  • A sergeant and a constable have convictions for cruelty to animals
  • Two constables have convictions for common assault
  • A PCSO has a conviction for a S39 assault
  • Three constables have convictions for criminal damage
  • Two constables and two PCSOs have convictions for being drunk and disorderly
  • A constable has a conviction for obtaining property by deception
  • A constable has a conviction for a data protection offence
  • Three constables and two PCSOs have convictions for disorderly behaviour
  • A constable has a conviction for excess alcohol
  • A constable has a conviction for a S4 Public Order Act offence
  • A constable has a conviction for buying alcohol while under age

Sky News did not receive a response from North Yorkshire Police.

Northamptonshire Police refused to reveal how many officers had criminal convictions, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information and it would breach the Data Protection Act.

Northumbria Police refused to reveal how many of their officers had criminal convictions, saying retrieving the information would cost too much.

Nottinghamshire Police refused to provide the information, saying the request was "vexatious" - meaning it intends to cause annoyance, frustration, or worry.

Police Scotland refused to provide the information, saying retrieving it would cost too much and take too much time.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said 99 serving officers had received criminal convictions while employed by the force; five were sergeants and the rest were constables.

The offences included:

  • Death by careless driving
  • Common assault
  • Harassment
  • Possession of a firearm/drunk in charge of a firearm
  • Grievous bodily injury by careless driving
  • Driving with excess alcohol
  • Breach of data protection
  • Excess speed

The PSNI said doing a manual trawl to provide the total number of serving officers with criminal convictions, including those convicted of offences before they joined the force, would exceed the time threshold set out by the Freedom of Information Act.

South Yorkshire Police refused to reveal how many of their officers had been convicted of criminal offences, saying the information would cost too much to retrieve, it would breach the Data Protection Act and investigations "may be compromised".

Sky News did not receive a response from South Wales Police.

Staffordshire Police refused to reveal how many of their officers had been convicted of criminal offences, saying it would cost too much to retrieve the information.

Suffolk Police said two serving officers had criminal convictions, which happened after they joined the force.

  • A constable was convicted of common assault
  • A constable was convicted of breaching the Data Protection Act

Sky News did not receive a response from Surrey Police.

Sky News did not receive a response from Sussex Police.

Thames Valley Police refused to provide the information, saying it would be a "disproportionate and unjustified diversion of policing resources" during the coronavirus epidemic.

Warwickshire Police refused to provide the information, saying it would cost too much to reveal how many officers had been convicted of offences.

Sky News did not receive a response from West Mercia Police.

Sky News did not receive a response from West Midlands Police.

Sky News did not receive a response from West Yorkshire Police.

Wiltshire Police refused to provide the information, saying it would cost too much to retrieve it and it would breach the Data Protection Act.

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