Cases of police sexual abuse are rising! – Warns Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)

Masses turn out for the vigil of Sarah Everard – murdered by serving police officer PC Wayne Couzens – Met Commissioner Cressida Dick ordered her officers to storm the bandstand at the vigil

CASES of police abusing their role for sexual gain have risen sharply, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) warned yesterday, revealing the fact that 66 officers and staff have faced misconduct proceedings in England and Wales in the past three years.

The IOPC said the perpetrators have ‘no place in policing’.

Between April 2018 and March 2021, 66 officers and police staff faced misconduct proceedings having been investigated for abusing their position for a sexual purpose, including 42 in the past year alone.

Misconduct was proven in 63 of the cases, with 52 police officers or staff facing gross misconduct proceedings for the worst offences. More than half – 38 – were sacked or retired, as well as barred from working for the police again, the IOPC said.

Seven people were also prosecuted for criminal offences, leading to six convictions. Three were given immediate prison sentences.

The latest figures show a significant increase, with the IOPC investigating 70 police officers and staff over allegations of abuse of position for a sexual purpose (APSP) in the past year, compared with just 10 in 2016.

The IOPC’s deputy director general for operations, Claire Bassett, said:’What these numbers tell us is that this is a very serious form of corruption.’

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said that she wants to apologise in person to the family of two murdered sisters for failings in the way the Met responded when they were reported missing.

Danyal Hussein, 19, killed Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, at Fryent Country Park in Wembley on 6th June 2020.

It was alleged that the police did not take the family’s concerns seriously and it fell to the family themselves to send out a search party.

The women’s bodies were found in the park by Nicole Smallman’s boyfriend the day after they had been reported missing to police.

Speaking about the apology, the sisters’ mother Mina Smallman said: ‘We’re not the only parties who suffered mental anguish at the hands of the Met’s incompetent, reprehensible and blatant disregard of agreed procedures regarding missing persons.’

She added that the on-duty call handler had made ‘inappropriate and manipulating assertions, which led to cancellation of the missing persons report.

‘We’re also of the view that his unprofessional comments about the picnic suggests racial profiling, misogyny or classism.’

Dick has said she contacted the family to ask if they would allow her or another senior officer to visit to apologise in person.

However, Mina Smallman said: ‘Sorry is something you say when you comprehend the wrong you do and take full responsibility for it, demonstrating that by taking appropriate proportionate action – which to our minds is not going to happen.

‘The investigation was not handled appropriately. The apology should have been done face-to-face and not nearly 10 months later.’