New data released has exposed that 2,000 police officers have been accused of sexual misconduct over only the past four years in the UK. The sexual misconducts, including rape, were routinely covered up.
An investigation by Channel Four into how widespread the police’s abuse of power and authority exposed that in the past four years alone, 2,000 officers, special constables and PCSOs in the UK were accused of sexual misconduct, including allegations of sexual assault and rape.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) figures also revealed that within these accusations, there were more than 370 allegations of sexual assault, close to 100 accusations of rape, and 18 child sex offenses across 39 police forces. There were a total of 514 proven allegations.
In the figures released by FOI requests, officers abusing their power for personal gratification faced no further action in a whopping two thirds of the cases. The allegations were either not upheld, deemed no case to answer, discontinued or no further action taken.
An investigation found that about 30 percent of police officers accused of sexual misconduct had also previously faced separate claims of wrongdoing.
Researchers said that perpetrators targeted vulnerable people. Forty percent had previously suffered domestic abuse. Twenty five percent had been sexually assaulted in the past. Twenty percent had mental health problems.
In a separate investigation conducted by the Times this week, research showed that of 750 sexual misconduct claims against police officers from 31 forces between 2016 and 2020, only 34 officers were let go.
There are a total of 43 police forces in the UK.
The figures showed how commonly sexual misconduct has been covered up within the police force in the UK.
The release of this information comes at a time where confidence in the police for protecting women, especially in cases of sexual violence, are at a low. This comes following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by an acting police officer, Wayne Couzens. Couzens was sentenced recently after he pleaded guilty to kidnap, rape and murder. Before he murdered Everard, Couzens had incidents of indecent exposure that were not further investigated, and he was nicknamed ‘the rapist’ at his previous job. The shocking case led women to ask how they could trust the police.
But these figures have made people speculate whether there is something culturally at the heart of the UK police that needs to be looked at and eradicated when it comes to violence against women. The figures paint a frightening picture of how common behaviors exhibited by Couzens became in the police force.