Only a tiny fraction of police officers who received complaints about their treatment of women have been fired, new data shows.
Statistics released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) over a six-month period last year showed less than 1% of more than 1,500 officers and other workers faced with complaints were fired.
But now a senior official has admitted that “the police have the confidence of many women and girls” in the wake of those numbers.
Deputy Police Commissioner Maggie Blyth, NPCC’s Violence Against Women and Girls Coordinator, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We know the police have lost the confidence of many women and girls across the country and behind these numbers is natural a victim is always and above all a perpetrator.
“By releasing these numbers today, we are making it very clear that we need very rigorous investigations into both public grievances and internal wrongdoing.”
The data showed that between October 2021 and March 2022, 524 complaints were made by members of the public against 867 police officers in England and Wales.
Around 290 of these cases have now been resolved, with no further action taken in 91% and no one released.
And during the same period, a further 672 police officers or officers were faced with cases related to violence against women and girls.
These included allegations of sexual harassment, discrediting behavior outside of the line of duty and sexual assault.
As a result of these investigations – with 167 completed so far – 13 officers and staff have been fired so far.
Ms Blyth added: “As you say, the numbers are very nuanced, it’s a snapshot of last year, the data is a year old now, but it allows us to track a course every year if we have that information about it publish as we strengthen these robust investigations.
“We don’t want – in the police – people who are guilty of these kinds of crimes against women and girls.
“But these are also allegations, so they were smaller numbers in terms of those that were closed in that six-month period.
“There were still 45% of cases relating to public grievances, 74% of internal allegations were still ongoing. So it’s really important to delve into the report to understand the numbers.’
The figures came after the high-profile cases brought by police officers Wayne Couzens and David Carrick.
“We need to be tougher on the sanctions that we impose on anyone when there are allegations of this type of behaviour, whether it’s from a police complaint or internal misconduct,” Ms Blyth said.
“I would hope if we release this [data] Also, a year from now, we’re probably going to see more cases if we shine the light and turn these stones, more come to light but accelerate that discharge and removal from service.’
Last week, Wayne Couzens was sentenced to an additional 19 months in prison for three times exposing himself to women.
The former Metropolitan Police officer, 50, is already serving a life sentence for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.
Though he would have died behind bars anyway, the case raised further questions about whether police missed opportunities to stop him earlier.
The Center for Women’s Justice campaign group said: “We have seen in the Couzens and Carrick cases that failure to take action or link repeated reports can have devastating consequences.”
Domestic Violence Commissioner Nicole Jacobs said: “Victims and survivors need to see police acting decisively as confidence remains at an all-time low and I welcome this report from the NPCC.
“It shows that the armed forces are taking steps in the right direction to tackle perpetrators within the police force and to address sexism and misogyny within the police force.
“There’s still a long way to go.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/14/policing-has-lost-the-trust-of-many-women-and-girls-says-top-officer-18437974/ The police have "lost the trust of many women and girls," says the top official