Some police officers and staff are accused of treating women who were fired

Less than one percent of more than 1,500 police officers and staff who faced complaints about the treatment of women in a six-month period were fired, the figures show.

Figures published by the National Council of Police Chiefs on Tuesday showed that 653 conduct cases relating to violence against women and girls were brought against 672 people by police forces in England and Wales between October 2021 and March 2022.

There were also 524 complaints from members of the public against 867 officers and staff over the same time period.

The complaints related to various allegations, including sexual harassment, derogatory conduct in the performance of their duties and sexual assault.

We need to be tougher in the penalties we impose on anyone who is alleged to have engaged in this type of behaviour

Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth

Of the conduct cases, 167 have been resolved, with 13 officers and staff dismissed. The cases relate to 195 separate charges, of which 136, or 70%, did not lead to further action.

For public complaints, 290 cases involving 314 complaints have been resolved, with 91% ending with no further action and no officers or staff fired.

Deputy Constable Maggie Blyth, NPCC’s co-ordinator on violence against women and girls, said she wants to see more officers and staff sacked or punished for crimes or misconduct against women.

“We need to be tougher in the penalties we impose on anyone who has allegations of this type of conduct, whether it’s a police report or internal misconduct,” he said.

“Hopefully, as we release this (data) again in a year, we’ll probably see more cases as we get the light and overturn these stones, more coming to light, but accelerating this dismissal and removal from service.” .

Police leaders have called on the Home Office to strengthen existing regulations, including a ban on policing anyone convicted or cautioned of this type of offense and re-vetting of anyone accused of such crimes.

They also encourage wardens to use speedy misconduct hearings to speed up disciplinary processes.

A national threat assessment on the scale of violence against women and girls will take place next month.

The moves are part of efforts to tackle misogyny in policing following scandals such as the killing of Sarah Everard by an on-duty officer and P. David Carrick being exposed as a prolific sex offender.

Campaigners have also raised concerns about the force’s handling of allegations of domestic abuse against officers and staff, through a super-complaint led by the Center for Women’s Justice.

The watchdog found systemic weaknesses in the way the force dealt with these allegations, with colleagues investigating the claims and victims being prevented from reporting crimes because the suspect worked for the police.

The NPCC said the number of officers and staff facing charges was equivalent to 0.7% of the total police workforce in March 2022.

Of the conduct cases, just under half (48%) involved disparaging behavior in the performance of their duties, around a fifth (19%) were allegations of sexual assault and 13% were allegations of sexual harassment.

Among the complaints from the public, 63% were allegations of use of force, 9% of overbearing or harassing behavior and 6% of sexual assault.

Ms Blyth said: “The vast majority of officers and staff are professional and dedicated, but I know it is shocking to hear about potential predators in policing and that this can further shake fragile trust.

“It is important to be clear: the data released today is intended to form a critical basis for evaluating police performance over time. It presents an image more than a year ago and not today.

“Over the past 18 months, police chiefs have focused on identifying misconduct within the police ranks, strengthening investigations into misconduct and toughening penalties.

“My expectation is that the impact of these changes will be evident when we publish our next assessment – ​​with more women having the confidence to report concerns, more investigations underway, more cases closed and more sanctions and dismissals.”

There are plans to set up a national helpline to allow women to report these offenses without having to contact the police directly.

The NPCC reported that between October 2021 and March 2022 more than 507,827 offenses of violence against women and girls were recorded.

Of these, 61% had no criminal justice outcome.

Ms Blyth said too many cases were closed due to evidentiary difficulties and victims withdrew their support for prosecution.

Domestic abuse commissioner Nicole Jacobs said: “Victims and survivors need to see the police taking strong action as trust remains at historic lows, and I welcome this NPCC report.

“It shows that forces are taking steps in the right direction to tackle perpetrators within the police as well as tackle sexism and misogyny in policing.

“There’s still a long way to go.”

Farah Nazeer, chief executive of the charity Women’s Aid, said only 6% of reported offenses of violence against women and girls ended with a suspect being charged.

She added: “These statistics have deeply worrying implications for women’s already low levels of confidence in the criminal justice system.”

On Monday, Britain’s biggest police force – the Metropolitan Police – announced plans to review officers and staff accused of undermining public trust.

The force said the process could be triggered in circumstances including the termination of a criminal investigation or a misconduct proceeding leading to written warnings or demotion.

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