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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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More than 40 Cumbrian police officers and staff arrested

More than 40 police officers and staff have been arrested by colleagues in Cumbria Constabulary over the last four and a half years.

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

Figures obtained by the News & Star – released in response to a Freedom of Information request – give a snapshot of how even those given the job of upholding the law occasionally fall foul of it.

But the county’s Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said the figures simply confirm that the law is applied equally to all Cumbrians, regardless of whether they are employed by the force or not.

The figures show that officers and civilian police workers have been arrested for a wide variety of reasons.

Of the 44 arrests that were made in the specified period, 12 were for alleged assaults.

Two were arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, and five – including one whose case became a high profile hearing at the Crown Court – were suspected of committing data protection offences.

At present, the force employs about 1,100 police officers, and around 650 civilian staff.

Commenting on the figures, Martin Plummer, chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, 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. There has to be a transparent process and it doesn’t matter what organisation you work with.”

He said that the nature of police work – with officers in conflict situations, and often dealing with people who may be drunk – meant they were more likely than most to face assault allegations.

He said: “Immediately when you join the force, you are taught the guidelines: that you can use reasonable force; and sometimes, if you are taking away somebody’s liberty, you need to gets hands on, and people sometimes feel they have been unjustly manhandled and officers have to justify their actions. But all new recruits are spoken to about the standard of conduct that is expected of them.”

In its response to the Freedom of Information request, the force’s disclosure manager pointed out that no further action was taken against 21 of those arrested; 1 person was found not guilty following a trial; 3 persons received a penalty notice; 5 received a police caution; 12 were convicted; and court proceedings or an investigation are on-going in a further two cases. He added that a number of the 44 officers or staff arrested no longer work for the force.

The figures relate to the period between January 2008 and June of last year.

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.

By contrast, 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.

A spokesman for Cumbria police said: “The percentage of staff and officers being arrested is no higher than 0.6 per cent of our workforce. We take any allegations made against anyone working for the constabulary very seriously and will conduct a full and thorough investigation and where necessary criminal charges will be made.

“This ensures that the communities of Cumbria can continue to have trust and confidence in the officers and staff who police the county.”

Have your say

Its is now in the public interest and safety to name and shame any serving officers that have been arrested for any sexual related offences and not let them hide behind their uniforms to potentially offend again.

Posted by A Another on 27 February 2014 at 14:01

"You always have a few people in a large organisation that get into trouble"? That a bit of an understatment wouldnt you say ? 40 people in Cumbria, over the last four & a half years ? Come on what do you take us for Anon, Get a grip, it backs up what the public have been complaining about for ages, We need a complete shake up before the public will have faith in the Constabulary, We dont know the half yet, only time will tell?

Posted by Wally ! on 26 February 2014 at 19:04

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