Officers face more criminal investigations after details put through national police database

23 January 2024, 12:07

More police are facing scrutiny after their details were checked against a national database
More police are facing scrutiny after their details were checked against a national database. Picture: Alamy

By Fraser Knight

Nine criminal investigations and dozens of disciplinary proceedings have been opened into police employees after new information was found when their details were put through a national intelligence database.

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Five police officers and four members of police staff are facing new criminal investigations after their data was filtered through it.

A total of 88 are also facing fresh misconduct proceedings and 139 are to go through vetting again.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has led a fresh round of background checks for everyone who works or volunteers across all 48 UK police forces to clear them of people who don't meet professional standards.

Gavin Stephens, chairman of the NPCC, said: "It was a very worthwhile exercise to do - it shows the overwhelming majority of colleagues in policing can be trusted.

"For those that are involved in wrongdoing, it shows there's no place to hide. The question of doing this was all about asking: 'Is there anybody else out there?'"

Humberside Police employs a third of those whose results returned information worthy of a criminal investigation - two officers and one staff member.

A spokesperson for the force told LBC no further action has been taken in all three of the cases after looking closely at the details.

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A Police Constable at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and an officer at the Ministry of Defence Police are also being investigated for criminal allegations that have come to light as a result.

The details of 307,452 officers, staff and volunteers were checked against the Police National Database.

A total of 461 of them were flagged as being potentially problematic and needing further investigation.

Allegations against those now being looked at in new criminal proceedings include fraud, theft and drug offences.

Three of the investigations relate to sexual offences.

Earlier this month, LBC revealed that more than 100 officers in Metropolitan Police Service alone were being reinvestigated for previous allegations of rape and sexual abuse.

The latest "data wash" found a further 58 officers or staff members in the force who had slipped through the net and are now subject to fresh misconduct proceedings.

17 of them face being sacked if found guilty of gross misconduct.

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Commander James Harman from the Met Police said: "The task of checking every employee against the national database was a critical one and aligns to our significant steps to root out those who have no place in the Met.

"Through our commitments we have set out in our 'A New Met for London' plan, we continue to build a healthier and stronger culture that serves the public and supports the tens of thousands of officers and staff who are dedicated to keeping London safe."

Updating reporters on the work that's been carried out nationally, Chief Constable Serena Kennedy - who led the task for the NPCC - said the details of serving personnel had to be put through the system in phases, so as not to overwhelm it.

"I think the results demonstrate the need for us to have a continuous integrity screening process in place," she said.

"This needs to be happening on a daily or weekly basis, not just once a year."

Police and Crime Commissioners have also backed calls for an ongoing system of checking police records against the intelligence database.

The Home Office has agreed to spend £500,000 on building new software that will allow for that to happen.

The policing minister, Chris Philp, said: "While we know that the vast majority of officers and police staff - over 99% - are brave, hard-working and dedicated to protecting the public, new serious concerns have been raised in a small number of cases as a result of this work.

"That is why we are making it easier for the police to sack rogue officers and we will be providing half a million pounds so forces can roll out automated and continuous vetting.

"We will stop at nothing to restore trust in policing and keep people safe."