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Friday, 19 December 2014

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11 police officers in Cumbria suspended in three years

Eleven police officers have been suspended from Cumbria Constabulary in the last three years.

Cumbria police badge

And five of the suspensions involved criminal cases – four of which are ongoing and one resulted in the officer being dismissed after they were convicted.

The six other cases saw four officers resign, one receive a written warning and no further action was taken against one.

The figures have been released following a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Of the 11 police officers suspended between March 2011 and February this year, six were suspended in connection with eight allegations of misconduct.

Four of the allegations related to discreditable conduct, two to honesty and integrity, one to confidentiality and one to authority, respect and courtesy.

Constabulary bosses insist they take allegations of inappropriate behaviour among any officers “very seriously”.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Duhig said: “It is vital that our communities have trust and confidence in Cumbria Constabulary.

“We expect the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and conduct from all police officers at all times.

“Any allegations are investigated thoroughly, and if appropriate an individual will be suspended while that investigation is ongoing.

“Suspensions are a neutral act and do not mean that an individual is guilty of any inappropriate behaviour, that is for an investigation to determine.”

It comes after the News & Star revealed in February that more than 40 police officers and staff were arrested by colleagues within Cumbria Constabulary over the last four-and-a-half years.

The single most common reason for arrest was an allegation of assault.

The Cumbria Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, insisted the law should apply to everyone – regardless of who their employer is.

Chairman Martin Plummer said: “The public needs to know that complaints against police officers will be dealt with in the same manner and with the vigour as they would be with anybody else.”

Last year, Workington based detective sergeant Jason Robinson was cleared at Carlisle Crown Court of misconduct, and conspiring with a friend to illegally disclose confidential police intelligence. Several of his colleagues said he was an officer of the highest integrity.

However, in 2011, detective constable Mark Fisher, 49, from Cockermouth, was jailed for four years after he was convicted of five counts of misconduct.

He had worked in the Public Protection Unit with vulnerable women yet used the force’s computer to set up sexual liaisons.

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