Image of UK police officers

Police officers with links to domestic abuse and sex offences ‘still being recruited’

Police officers with a history of domestic abuse against multiple partners and more have managed to pass vetting procedures in recent months, as reported in the Guardian.

The police watchdog of England and Wales revealed that, over two months, numerous concerns were found about the new recruits in the police force. These include a “history of domestic abuse against multiple partners, connection to a criminal gang, an officer who had a family member who was a registered sex offender and an officer who had a family member who had been jailed for drug dealing”.

Between 1st December 2022 and 31st january 2023, 300 vetting files were inspected by His Majesty’s inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, which discovered 13 to be of a concern.

“The findings come after an initial report on vetting, published in November, found that poor vetting procedures and failures of leadership had allowed potentially thousands of ‘predatory’ officers to join the police,” said the Guardian.

Writing to Suella Braverman, HM inspector of constabulary Matt Parr said:

“Good progress is being made, but there can be no excuses and I expect all forces to redouble their efforts to implement all of the Inspectorate’s recommendations by the deadlines set.

The government is driving forward work to improve culture, standards and behaviour across policing – including reviewing the process to dismiss officers who fall far short – and I will continue to hold forces to account to restore public trust in the profession.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said:

“It is only right that police forces are held to account and we thank HMICFRS for its ongoing scrutiny. We will now examine the review’s findings in detail and address the issues raised.”

Responding to the police recruitment with links to domestic abuse, Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“It is appalling that men with a known history of domestic abuse and sex offence have been allowed to become police officers. There has been an increasing spotlight on this issue in light of the murder of Sarah Everard, the horrendous abuses performed by David Carrick, and the recent Casey review which highlighted the shocking state of the Met police. It is inexcusable that vetting procedures are still failing society.

Women have lost trust in the police. Every day, Women’s Aid services hear from domestic abuse survivors who have been let down time and again by those meant to protect them – women who are not believed, women whose pain is underplayed, women whose lives are treated as less.”

Nazeer asked the question: “How many more women must be hurt and killed before this issue is taken seriously?” She added that the “police force must urgently introduce robust processes to ensure that predatory officers are not allowed to join in the force, so that women and children get the support they deserve”.

Want to have your say? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more stories

Join nearly 3,000 other family practitioners - Check back daily for all the latest news, views, insights and best practice and sign up to our e-newsletter to receive our weekly round up every Thursday morning. 

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.