Police officers and staff have been accused of ‘covering up’ more than 100 cases of misconduct by colleagues over 18 months, according to data released under freedom of information laws.
Forces recorded 83 reports in 2019, and 33 in the first half of 2020, of allegations officers had failed to ‘report, challenge or take action’ against colleagues who had breached behavioural codes.
This includes dozens of cases of alleged sexual misconduct or discriminatory behaviour. The Met Police alone recorded 27 alleged cover-ups in 2019 and another 13 the year after.
Forces recorded 83 reports in 2019, and 33 in the first half of 2020, of allegations officers had failed to ‘report, challenge or take action’ against colleagues who had breached behavioural codes
Nearly a third of forces in England and Wales did not respond to freedom of information requests by The Times, meaning the figures are likely to be a significant underestimate.
Forces that did not include any internal cover-up allegations were Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, Humberside, North Wales, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Suffolk and Wiltshire.
This may raise questions about whether these forces have appropriate systems in place to encourage whistleblowers.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said everyone in policing has a duty to ‘call out’ cases of misogynistic, sexist and sexualised behaviour in policing.
Police handling of misconduct cases has been subject to intense scrutiny since Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard as she made her way home from a friend’s house on March 3.
Couzens, a diplomatic protection officer, used Covid powers to conduct a fake arrest before committing crimes so horrific they shocked the nation and undermined confidence in the police.
The Met faced a wave of criticism over missed opportunities to expose Couzens as a sexual predator before he went on to murder Miss Everard.
Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis (right) were each jailed for two years and nine months for misconduct in public office after they were found guilty of sharing ‘dehumanising’ pictures of two murdered sisters. Dozens of colleagues knew what they had done but failed to act, reports said
Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, had been stabbed to death by teenage killer Danyal Hussain
It emerged the 48-year-old was allegedly known as ‘the rapist’ by staff at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary because he made female colleagues feel so uncomfortable.
He had been accused of indecent exposure in Kent in 2015 and in London in the days before Ms Everard’s murder, but was allowed to continue working.
Priti Patel has announced there will be an independent inquiry into the ‘systematic failures’ that allowed Couzens to serve as a Met police officer.
The Home Secretary said the ‘tragic events have exposed unimaginable failures in policing’.
Police handling of misconduct cases has been subject to intense scrutiny since Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard
Last month Met officers Deniz Jaffer, 47, and Jamie Lewis, 33, were each jailed for two years and nine months after taking ‘dehumanising’ photos of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46.
Dozens of officers at Forest Gate police station in east London knew of their behaviour but did nothing about it, according to reports.
The pair, neither of whom was wearing forensic protection, had arrived at Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west, where they were charged with manning the police cordon.
During the night, Jaffer took four pictures of the bodies in situ and Lewis took two, and superimposed his face on to one of them to create the ‘selfie-style’ image.
Lewis wrote: ‘Unfortunately I’m sat next to two dead birds full of stab wounds.’
Jaffer posted on another WhatsApp group: ‘I have pictures of the two dead victims. Let me know who doesn’t want to see.’
He also sent an inexperienced female officer at the scene photographs of the bodies as they lay intertwined in the bushes, including Lewis’ ‘selfie’.
Jaffer then showed the images to two other officers, including a female probationary officer he was supposed to be mentoring at Forest Gate police station, who was ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’.
He deleted the pictures the same day Lewis was questioned by the police watchdog.
In victim impact statements, family members described the defendants as a ‘disgrace’ to the police family and to mankind.
Danyal Hussein, 19, was later jailed for murdering the sisters as a ‘sacrifice’ to a demon named ‘the mighty king Lucifuge Rofocale’ out of the belief it would help him win the lottery.