Four out of five Norfolk Constabulary officers and staff accused of domestic abuse have kept their jobs, new research reveals.

Since January 2018, 22 Norfolk police officers and five civilian staff have been reported to the police, accused of domestic abuse offences.

Three of the 27 were disciplined, three were removed from their post and one was convicted of a crime.

However 21 individuals reported to the police for alleged domestic abuse remained in post.

Ruth Davison, CEO of domestic abuse charity Refuge, warned the figures likely only “scratched the surface”.

She said: "We know that only around a fifth of women experiencing domestic abuse ever report to the police, due to the many barriers preventing them from doing so.

"So, for women whose abusers are police officers - this number is likely to be far lower.

“How can women feel safe to report these heinous crimes when those that are supposed to be investigating them are abusers or their peers?

“Time and again we have heard about a toxic misogynist culture that is rife within the police and how officers are closing ranks instead of protecting women and girls. With trust in the police at an all-time low, urgent action is needed.”

Dr Charmian Werren, a lecturer in criminology at UEA, said: “The lack of action taken against officers accused of domestic violence themselves is of course highly concerning and has the potential to even further damage public opinion and trust in the police.”

The figures were revealed in a nationwide analysis of police forces’ treatment of employees accused of domestic abuse, by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

Eastern Daily Press: Paul Sanford, Chief Constable of Norfolk ConstabularyPaul Sanford, Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary (Image: Archant)

The TBIJ report shows more than 1,300 officers and staff have been reported for alleged domestic abuse since 2018.

Only 36 have been dismissed, while 203 have retired, resigned or left for other reasons.

The research also shows that nationwide, police employees were half as likely as others to be prosecuted.

Only 3.4 per cent of reports led to a conviction among police officers and staff nationwide, and the one conviction among Norfolk’s 27 accused means a conviction rate of 3.7 per cent.

The conviction rate for the wider general public is around seven per cent.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “Our commitment to supporting victims and dealing with offenders remains the same – regardless of occupation.

“We expect the utmost professionalism and the highest standards of personal conduct from officers. When these are in question, we have robust processes in place to take appropriate and impartial action.”