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About 2,000 police officers accused of sexual misconduct in UK in past 4 years

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A protester is seen at a rally against police brutality outside New Scotland Yard. (File photo)

About 2,000 police officers have been accused of sexual misconduct in the United Kingdom over the past four years, a new investigation reveals.

The probe, by the British daily national newspaper The Times, found out that sexual misconduct and other police corruption is routinely covered up in the UK.

Two thirds of those accused faced no action, according to the report.

Over 50% of the allegations failed to result in disciplinary action, while 8% were dismissed, the probe showed.

During the past 30 days, there were more than 40 misconduct outcome notices published, with nearly 50% of them anonymized.

"Forces frequently hold hearings to examine cases in private, even though they should be heard in public," The Times wrote. "Damning information on the outcome of cases is also deleted from websites where the public could see it."

As many as a quarter of misconduct hearings that involve the most serious wrongdoing, including sexual impropriety and racism, are closed to the public, according to the probe.

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May reacted to the report, saying, "Surely now, it is time for the police to properly ensure that where instances of corruption and misconduct do occur, they are rooted out with vigor on every occasion… and that this is done openly for all to see."

The National Police Chiefs Council's lead on domestic abuse, Louisa Rolfe, acknowledged that some people are drawn to the police force by the potential to abuse it. She said that "sadly" some people want to be police officers "because of the power, the control, and the opportunity it affords them."

She added that the "vetting processes are designed to root those people out."

Earlier this year, a report revealed that nearly 150 women had come forward with claims of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse by ex-partners in the police force. Rolfe said at the time that she was "horrified" by the allegations and "doubly horrified" at the reports they had not been properly investigated. She urged victims to "please, please report" abuse.

The UK Metropolitan Police early this month advised women to "shout out to a passer-by, run into a house or wave a bus down" in case they felt danger from a police force.

Nearly 700 cases of alleged domestic abuse involving police officers and staff were reported during the three years to April 2018, according to figures released by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).


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