‘Corruption for sexual gratification’: Damning report reveals rising police misconduct

Reuters/Paul Hackett
Rising numbers of British police officers deal drugs or use their power for “sexual gratification,” a previously shelved report claims.

Incidents are thought to include making sexual passes at vulnerable victims and seeking “favors” from prostitutes.

While not endemic, sexual exploitation was listed as a “major concern” in the previously unpublished report.

Conducted by the now defunct Serious Organized Crime Agency, the assessment of British police also found rising numbers of officers were dealing in class A and B drugs.

British police forces have been embroiled in a series of corruption scandals in recent years which have seen “bent” cops found guilty of offenses including sexual assault, fraud and the production of drugs.

The three-year-long study was based on intelligence reports into police forces across England and Wales.

Originally concluded in June 2013, the report was only made public Thursday as part of a wider investigation into police corruption led by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

HMIC said: “The assessment highlighted corruption for sexual gratification is a major concern. The number of reported incidents has been increasing since 2009.

Abuse and supply of Class A and B controlled drugs is occurring more frequently among a greater number of forces than was reported in 2010.”

Met officer David Price was caught growing cannabis in a loft in Bristol. Reuters/Andres Stapff

There were 406 investigations into cases of sexual misconduct by police in the 12 months to March 31 2014, the HMIC study found.

This marked a staggering increase of 390 on the previous 12 months.

A sixth of the 406 investigations resulted in suspected officers resigning or retiring, while 40 percent led to no action at all.

In the past two years there have more than 9,000 investigations into alleged corruption, 5,700 of which led to no action being taken.

READ MORE:Bad bodyguards: 80 elite British police officers disciplined for misconduct since 2010

HMIC also found that some police forces do not take allegations of corruption seriously and fail to effectively investigate claims against officers.

Half of all police forces lack an “effective counter-corruption plan” and some forces’ anti-corruption units were understaffed.

HMIC studied a sample of cases, finding that one in 20 should have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for investigation but were not.

Police forces have seen a spate corruption cases in recent years, ranging from sexual assault to false crime reports.

Northumbria police constable Stephen Mitchell, 43, was handed a life sentence in January 2011 for sexually assaulting women, including prostitutes and a disabled teenager, while on duty.

READ MORE:‘Endemic corruption’: Rogue ex-Met officers sold ecstasy tablets on the black market

David Price, 31, was given a 16-week suspended sentence after being caught growing cannabis in a loft in Bristol.

Croydon cop Gareth Beard, 37, narrowly escaped jail despite being found guilty of falsely reporting a stolen iPhone to his own police branch.

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, the officer who compiled the report, said: “We found no evidence to suggest corruption was endemic but we know only too well that the corrosive nature of corruption means that even a single case can be damaging to public confidence.”