Police Officers Behaviour Described as “Regrettable”

“I will follow the work of Cambridgeshire Constabulary closely as they seek to encourage more positive and professional behaviour in their workforce.”

SEVEN police officers and 14 civilians working for Cambridgeshire Police have been sacked in the past five years for offences including dishonesty, drink driving and making racist comments.

In addition 76 officers and sergeants in the force have been disciplined for offences including racially discriminatory behaviour, and a lack of politeness and tolerance, as well as abusing their authority by using unnecessary force.

Data obtained by Cambridge First also reveals 51 civilians working for Cambridgeshire Police were disciplined between April 2006 and March of this year for offences including attending work while smelling of alcohol, assaulting colleagues, excessive internet use and “inappropriate behaviour”.

MP for Cambridge Julian Huppert described the figures as “regrettable”.

He said: “A strong and professional police service is essential for upholding the rule of law.

“Cambridgeshire Constabulary is generally doing a very good job but I’m especially concerned about the racial nature of some of the offences.

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“I will follow the work of Cambridgeshire Constabulary closely as they seek to encourage more positive and professional behaviour in their workforce.”

Leader of the Labour group at Cambridge City Council Lewis Herbert said: “Clearly there are issues, as there are in many organisations, but it is vital we have a police force that respects and integrates all sections of the community.

“I know the chief constable is making efforts to tackle a whole range of challenges in the force.”

County councillor for the Coleridge area of Cambridge Cllr Tariq Sadiq said: “I’m concerned if officers are being racist and not behaving to the highest ethical standards.

“It highlights the quality of the recruitment processes in the first place and the training the officers have.

“It is not as robust as it should be as these attitudes should be picked up earlier and filtered out.

“But the fact they have identified people who have misbehaved is reassuring.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said the force takes issues of conduct and discipline very seriously.

He said: “All allegations against officers and staff are thoroughly investigated, with disciplinary action taken if appropriate.”

Cambridgeshire Police Authority says it oversees the professional conduct of officers and staff to ensure each incident is fairly investigated and appropriate action taken.

Vice-chairman of Cambridgeshire Police Authority and chairman of its people and professional standards committee Benjamyn Damazer said: “The authority receives regular reports at the people and professional standards committee.

“Members dip sample complaint and misconduct files to satisfy themselves that the constabulary is dealing with matters as it should, including, where appropriate, learning from both good and bad experiences.

“The authority is satisfied that the professional standards department is robust and fair in its investigations.

“Where matters are unclear, the department routinely makes voluntary referrals to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for guidance as to how best to proceed.”