Serving Suffolk police officers have criminal and motoring convictions, Freedom of Information request has revealed
There are serving police officers in Suffolk who have been convicted of some of the very crimes they are meant to stop, new data has uncovered.
Five officers in the county's force have been convicted for breaking the laws they enforce, with two being handed criminal convictions and three having a motoring conviction, Suffolk News can reveal.
One police constable on the beat has a conviction for common assault, a Freedom of Information Act request disclosed, while another is guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act.
Suffolk Police, who as recently as last week released the results of a campaign to clamp down on bad and illegal driving, have two constables with motoring convictions and a sergeant who was convicted for careless driving.
So far this year there have been three officers who have become subject to criminal investigation. For the past six years only 2019 has seen no serving Suffolk police officers investigated as part of a criminal investigation.
And the force has stopped people from joining the police after their past criminal activity had come to light. Between January 2016 and June this year three applications to join the force were thrown out because of criminal convictions.
In 2020 a hopeful applicant was rejected after their sexual assault conviction was revealed, and two applications were stopped this year after they had been found guilty of charges of criminal damage, excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention, and not having insurance.
A Suffolk Police spokesman said it followed all Home Office guidelines in relation to the employment of police officers and all applicants undergo vetting in accordance with the national vetting policy.
“The vetting unit is aligned to the Professional Standards Department, who investigate any allegations against police officers. All investigations undertaken by the Professional Standards Department are conducted in a proportionate manner and are conducted in a manner that protects the integrity of the force," the spokesman said.
“Where an officer is suspected of committing a criminal offence the case is determined using the normal criminal justice processes. Following conviction or caution of a police officer, the matter of sanction in respect of the officer’s employment is considered by the Chief Constable. Any decision is based upon legality and proportionality having due regard to all the circumstances of the case.
“The posting of officers to particular roles is always carefully assessed and considered in terms of their appropriateness for the role should they hold a criminal conviction.”