Police who use position for sexual gain may face new criminal sanctions

first_imgNew criminal sanctions aimed at targeting police who use their position for sexual gain are being considered as an investigation revealed the potential scale of abuse.More than 150 cases of alleged sexual misconduct are currently being investigated by forces across England and Wales, while 400 complaints have been made in five years, it has been revealed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In terms of prevalence, my impression is that most of the forces have had some sort of investigation into these serious crimesDetective Superintendent Ray Marley Retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards was convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight this week Detective Superintendent Ray Marley, the standards manager for the College of Policing, told the paper “most” of the 43 forces in England and Wales have had “some sort of investigation into these serious crimes, where there has been abuse of position relating to a vulnerable person”.He said when compared with the 124,000 total number of officers, the number of cases was low but added: ​“These cases, where you have got vulnerable people and abuse of them from within the service… are grossly inappropriate and have a significant impact on public confidence.”The Law Commission, which reviews and recommends reform of law to Government, launched its second public consultation on the law of misconduct at the beginning of September.A spokesman for the Commission said:  “We are currently out to consultation and are keen to hear views.”Our proposals clearly seek to take into account this issue and a number of case studies are included in the consultation. We also ask the question about whether there should be wider reform of the Sexual Offences Act in relation to sexual exploitation of vulnerable people more generally.” The figures, which were revealed by The Times following a series of Freedom of Information requests, include officers who have been accused of raping victims after they reported a crime. Some of the alleged offences, which also include harassment and sexual assault, took place in police stations.The investigation by the paper also revealed some officers faced minor sanctions for serious alleged sexual misconduct, while others resigned from their posts before misconduct hearings were organised.It comes as The Law Commission revealed it was debating whether the law of misconduct in public office should be strengthened in relation to officers who abuse their position.The Times was told a law punishing police officers who embark on relationships with victims of crime is being considered. Retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards was convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight this weekCredit: West Midlands Police This week, retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards was convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight in a catalogue of abuse spanning four decades.Birmingham Crown Court heard Richards twice used his trusted position to lure youngsters to a police station and attacked his first victim when he was running a football team as a teenage Scout leader in the 1970s.The 54-year-old was convicted on Friday of carrying out nine indecent assaults against six boys aged between 11 and 15 at camps, swimming baths and other locations, between 1982 and 2003.For the first time it was also be reported that Richards had already been found guilty earlier this year of a further 31 sex offences against other boys, including two rapes, going back as far as the 1970s. These cases have a significant impact on public confidenceDetective Superintendent Ray Marleylast_img read more