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More than 20 Kent Police officers have criminal convictions including for assault and criminal damage

More than 20 serving police officers in Kent have been convicted of a criminal offence including assault and criminal damage, it has been revealed.

Kent Police said it had 22 officers, out of about 3,800, who had convictions, all of which were from before they joined the force.

Police. Stock picture
Police. Stock picture

Superintendent John Phillips, of Kent Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: "Kent Police expects the highest standards of professionalism from all officers and staff, and the vast majority adhere to such standards. Those who fall short are held accountable and subjected to proportionate action.

"There are currently 22 serving officers out of a total of around 3,800 who have previously been convicted of an offence before joining Kent Police, which is the only force in the country to have been graded as outstanding in legitimacy by independent inspectors for the past four years. This means the public can be assured that Kent Police officers are serving them with the highest levels of professionalism.

"All of the previous offences committed were traffic-related, including speeding, with the exception of two common assaults and one count of criminal damage."

He added: "It is important to note that national guidance requires a careful assessment of each case on its own merits, and discretion may be exercised if, for example, the offence was committed a long time ago or when the individual concerned was still a child.

"Each of the 22 officers concerned had their cases assessed by Kent Police’s Professional Standards Department and are fit to serve the public."

Kent Police Headquarters in Maidstone's Sutton Road. Picture: Matthew Walker
Kent Police Headquarters in Maidstone's Sutton Road. Picture: Matthew Walker

According to data released by Sky News, from a freedom of information (FOI) request, Kent Police said five, of the 22, officers ranked "inspector or above".

One of these had a conviction for common assault, another had convictions for criminal damage and speeding, and a third had a conviction for "excess breath alcohol". The remaining two had convictions for driving without due care, the data revealed.

Meanwhile, a sergeant also had a conviction for driving without due care and "excess breath alcohol", and four others had convictions for speeding.

The FOI information showed the rest of the officers were constables, one of which had a conviction for common assault.

The other 11 constables had been convicted for traffic-related crimes including for speeding, careless driving and using a mobile whilst driving.

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