Notts police must tackle abuse of power for sexual gain

A watchdog has warned the county's cops need to do more to tackle the issue of staff abusing their position for sexual purpose.

Friday, 6th October 2017, 11:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:15 am
HMI Mike Cunningham

A report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) stated that Nottinghamshire Police still has work to do to address the problem.

HMI Mike Cunningham, who led this inspection, said: “When police officers and police staff abuse their position for a sexual purpose it has a devastating effect on the lives of victims, and corrodes trust and confidence in the police. It is of great importance that forces are prepared to seek intelligence on this type of corruption, and when they find it deal with it vigorously and decisively.”

The Peel: Police Legitimacy 2016 inspection of Notts police gave the force an overall rating of ‘good’ when it came to keeping people safe and reducing crime, stating: “Nottinghamshire Police continues to ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, although there are gaps in its vetting processes to ensure that designated posts are vetted to a specific standard. The force has an ethical culture and the workforce understands what serious corruption is and how to report it.”

The PEEL report outlined some areas of improvement for the force, which included improving how it demonstrates it has taken action to improve treatment of all the people it serves and how it communicates the action taken in response to issues identified by the workforce.

In December 2016, HMICFRS recommended that within six months all police forces in England and Wales should develop and begin to implement plans required to seek intelligence on potential abuse of position for a sexual purpose. Forces were asked to submit plans to HMICFRS by 31 May 2017 for review.

Mr Cunningham, continued: “Following the recommendation in our 2016 report, seventeen forces had made progress in developing and implementing plans. Derbyshire Constabulary and Merseyside Police already had plans in place, and are to be commended on their swift and decisive action. Other forces now need to follow suit, as the majority still have significant work to do to address this critical issue.

“The importance of public trust in the police cannot be understated.”

HMICFRS will carry out a full inspection of each force’s plan next year.