Hundreds of police officers are being accused of sexually abusing victims and suspects in what a senior police watchdog has called “the most serious corruption issue facing the service”.
Forces across England and Wales received 436 allegations of abuse of power for sexual gain against 306 police officers, 20 police community support officers and eight staff in the two years to March but inspectors believe the problem is even more prevalent than the numbers suggest.
Despite the large numbers, there is evidence that only 40 officers or staff have been dismissed for abusing authority for sexual gain in a similar period.
Vulnerable individuals, including domestic abuse victims, alcohol and drug addicts, sex workers and arrested suspects were among those targeted by officers and staff, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said.
Victim groups have said the findings are “deeply concerning” and involved some of the most vulnerable people in #society.