Hundreds of police officers could have criminal records for assault, actual bodily harm and possessing offensive weapons, it has been revealed.
At least 164 officers in 13 police forces across England and Wales have been convicted of a criminal offence, details released under the Freedom of Information Act show.
The Metropolitan, Kent, West Yorkshire and Hampshire police forces all employ officers with criminal convictions, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
The data suggests the number of convicted officers working for the remaining 34 forces across England and Wales could be as high as 500.
Kent currently employs 52 officers with a criminal record, while the Met has 74.
Jan Berry, chairwoman of the Police Federation, said that each case should be looked at individually but, in more serious cases, officers should be sacked.
“Clearly there are some offences where it would be totally unsuitable for an officer to either continue or be recruited in the first place,” she said.