More than 70 officers currently serving in the Metropolitan Police have criminal records, it was revealed today.
A total of 74 officers received either a criminal conviction or a caution between 2000 and 2005, but were kept on by the force.
The vast majority of the 74 with criminal records – 61 – are officers who have been convicted of drink driving. The other 13 received either a conviction or a caution for an offence of minor assault or criminal damage.
Of the total, 12 officers were originally ordered to quit following misconduct hearings, but were later re-instated following successful appeals. One officer remains subject to ongoing misconduct procedures.
In addition, 33 members of staff were convicted of an offence or given a caution over the same period and retained by the force.
The figures were disclosed by the Metropolitan Police under freedom of information laws, following an initial request by The Independent newspaper.
In a statement reported by Associated Press (AP), the force said: “The Metropolitan Police expects its staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost of integrity at all times.
“Any instance where the conduct of our staff brings MPS [the Metropolitan Police service] into disrepute is taken extremely seriously.
“Police officers are required to inform the MPS if they are convicted of a criminal offence. Misconduct matters are then considered by the Directorate of Professional Standards.”
The Met has around 47,000 staff, including 31,000 officers and 2,000 Police Community Support Officers.
It also emerged today that the Metropolitan Police paid out £740,000 in compensation and settlements as a result of employment tribunals in the financial year 2004 to 2005.
The equivalent figure for the first nine months of the current financial year, 2005 to 2006, was £450,000, the force said.
Race and sex discrimination cases form the largest claim groups of the ongoing cases, according to a recent report to the Metropolitan Police Authority.
However, from the end of June 2004 to December last year, the number of race discrimination claims fell by 24%, and sex discrimination claims fell by 40%.