Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Convicted police officers survey

Police lamp

The Liberal Democrats asked the 52 "territorial" police forces in the United Kingdom for details of serving officers with criminal convictions.

Details were not sought from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police, or smaller specialised forces.

Four forces declined to answer and seven have not responded.

Those forces which did reply provided information which was not directly comparable on a number of points.

Two forces did not provide a breakdown of crimes, and four did not provide all details of the officers concerned.

Most of the forces did not make it clear whether the offences referred to were committed before or after the officer concerned joined the police.

The Lib Dems did not specify to forces whether they were asking for details of offences which were "spent" under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, and it is not clear whether any of the offences disclosed were "spent".

Traffic offences

Normally certain convictions need not be disclosed after a certain period - for instance, a crime incurring imprisonment of less than two and a half years is considered "spent" after 10 years.

Of crimes by officers since 2004, the commonest recorded were traffic offences. Of 103 officers convicted of drink driving, 55 were dismissed. Of 144 convicted of speeding, none was dismissed.

Eight dangerous driving convictions included one in which the officer was dismissed; 37 cases of driving without due care and attention included one dismissal. None of the 28 officers convicted of careless or reckless driving was dismissed.

Most of the data on driving offences was not split up, however - the Metropolitan Police reported 276 convictions for traffic offences, including those involving alcohol. In 25 cases the officer was dismissed.

Among five cases of having a fraudulent vehicle excise licence, four were recorded as not resulting in dismissal. None of the six cases of handling or receiving stolen goods resulted in dismissal. Of 42 convictions for theft 36 did not incur dismissal.

All six officers convicted of perjury were dismissed; of convictions for perverting the course of justice five resulted in dismissal and five did not.



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