Criminals work at Sussex Police

TWENTY-ONE officers with criminal convictions are serving at Sussex Police, it has emerged.

Sunday, 8th January 2012, 5:26 pm

Speeding, dangerous driving, drink-driving and vandalism are among the crimes committed by those who help make the county a safer place to live.

The news comes just days after a detective sergeant based at Horsham was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

The arrest was made on Thursday December 15 in relation to unauthorised access of information through the Force systems.

He was suspended from duty, interviewed and bailed to January 27 for further inquiries.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “An investigation is being conducted by the Professional Standards Department.”

The officers currently working at the force with criminal convictions are for the following offences: Seven speeding; seven driving without due care and attention, two excess alcohol; two criminal damage; one careless driving; one dangerous driving and; one public order offence.

Of these, four officers had convictions before they joined the force, which were: two for criminal damage; one for excess alcohol and; one public order offence.

Since January 1 2008 three officers have resigned before or after the conviction of offences of money laundering, violence against a person and causing death by dangerous driving.

No officers have been dismissed since this date.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Since 2008 Sussex Police has had a centralised, dedicated vetting unit in place which carefully reviewed existing members of staff with convictions. All applicants to Sussex Police, since this unit came into being, have been subject to scrutiny before being accepted. As a result, Sussex Police is fully aware of the criminal convictions against any of its police officers and police staff.

“Each case has been taken on its own merits to ensure that employment will not result in any negative impact on the community.

“Sussex Police is confident that any convictions against one of its staff will not compromise that person’s ability to do their job to the highest ethical standards.”

Meanwhile, neighbouring force Surrey have 23 officers with criminal convictions ranging from animal cruelty to wounding. A Surrey Police detective constable was convicted of obstructing police.

Nationally more than 900 officers continue to serve despite some having convictions for more serious offences including robbery, fraud and violence.