MORE than nine in ten misconduct allegations against Dorset Police officers have resulted in no action being taken, according to the latest figure.
Over 700 allegations of misconduct against the region’s police officers were 'resolved' in the year to April 2022; 672 out of the 740 allegations resulted in no further action being required.
Sixty five ‘resolved’ complaints involved learning from reflection whilst one was referred to a ‘Reflective Practice Review Process’ and two outcomes remained unknown.
It comes at a time when police behaviour and misconduct process are again in the spotlight after it emerged that Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick - who admitted to a string of sexual offences and rapes spanning two decades - faced no internal misconduct action despite concerns being raised to the Met on several occasions.
Dorset Police said the public should have confidence that unprofessional and unethical behaviour would be ‘proactively’ identified.
Earlier this year, a sergeant from Dorset Police was struck off by a disciplinary panel after being found to have pursued ‘improper relationships’ with officers that he was directly in charge of.
The hearing concluded that sergeant’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and a ‘discredit to the service’ but an anonymity order was imposed preventing his identity being made public.
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said they ‘acknowledge the importance of being open and transparent with our communities when an officer fails to adhere to the high standards that are expected’.
Members of the public are ‘actively encouraged’ to report concerns and complaints and these would be investigated ‘to a high standard with robust processes in place’, the spokesperson added.
Sam de Reya, deputy chief constable of Dorset Police, said: “I would like to reassure the public that our vetting of all officers, staff, volunteers and contractors is up to date and we follow and adhere to the national vetting process. This applies to new recruits.
"All new recruits are delivered a bespoke input by our Professional Standards Department about standards of behaviour, ethics and how to call out inappropriate behaviour.
“The public should quite rightly have confidence the force will work proactively to identify unprofessional and unethical behaviour, and when standards fall below expectations, swift action will be taken.
"The force continues to focus on giving officers and staff the confidence to call out and report any abusive, inappropriate, or discriminatory behaviour.”
The figures cover the total number of allegations rather than the number of complaints – one complaint could contain several allegations of misconduct. They do not cover any complaints handled outside the formal process, where it was felt a detailed enquiry was not needed.
Anyone with concerns about a member of Dorset Police are encouraged to call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively members of the public can contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.