Nine claims of sexual misconduct made in five years against Norfolk police

Police officer

There were nine sexual misconduct claims made against officers in Norfolk over the past five years. - Credit: Archant

Nine allegations of sexual misconduct were made against serving police officers in Norfolk in the five years up to 2020, figures show.

Data obtained under Freedom of Information laws revealed the number of allegations made, with spotlight being shone on police standards following the sentencing of Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens, a Met police officer.

Thirty one police forces nationally responded to requests for the number of sexual assault claims against officers recorded between 2016 and 2020.

Norfolk said it had received nine allegations, seven of which were against male officers. In two other cases the gender of the officer wasn’t specified. 

The response did not indicate whether any of the officers were on duty at the time of the alleged incidents.

The force employs around 1,490 police officers. 

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford.

The new temporary chief constable for Norfolk, Paul Sanford. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk chief constable Paul Sanford has said the force is determined to root out offenders in its ranks and improve vetting of officers after admitting that the Sarah Everard case had damaged public confidence in the police.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We take any allegations of misconduct very seriously, but particularly those of a sexual nature given the trusted position police officers work in.

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“We have robust processes in place to deal with complaints and allegations made against officers and those in police roles.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said those who contravened restrictions needed to face the consequences. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Home secretary Priti Patel has ordered an independent inquiry to look into the "systematic failures" that allowed Sarah Everard's killer, Wayne Couzens, to be employed as a police officer. - Credit: Archant

"These matters will be thoroughly investigated and where there is a case to answer, misconduct procedures will take place.”

Nationally the figures reveal at least 750 accusations were made against serving officers and at least 34 resulted in dismissals.

Norfolk ranked 24th among the 31 forces who responded. Neighbouring force Suffolk said it had received 14 claims, relating to 18 officers, Lincolnshire Police had 17 claims against male officers, while Cambridgeshire recorded 10 claims, relating to 15 officers.

Any allegation concerning abuse of position for a sexual purpose is referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), said Norfolk police. 

“It should be noted that each of the allegations listed within our original response is individual and would require further context to fully explain the outcome. For example, such cases would include allegations which are proved to be false, but are required to be recorded on the initial information provided,” said the spokeswoman.

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