Over 20 serving Thames Valley Police officers faced action over sexual misconduct in the past four years, new figures show.

The force has also dealt with seven accusations of rape  - three in 2021, two in 2022 and two in 2023.

Thames Valley Police has published a report into complaints made against officers and staff of sexual misconduct between February 1, 2020 to the end of December 2023.

40 officers, former officers, and staff have been disciplined for sexual misconduct over the period with 24 of those being serving officers.

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Six police staff and 10 former officers were also disciplined.

Witney Gazette: Police

The sanctions that have been imposed range from written warnings to being dismissed.

25 officers or staff have been sacked, in four cases a final written warning was issued, in 12 cases a written warning was given and in 19 cases the sanction was reflective practice.

There have been 106 cases of sexual misconduct opened involving 178 officers and staff since February 2020, the report showed.

154 of the staff concerned were men and 18 were women.  In six cases, the gender was unknown. 

Of the 214 allegations made over the three-year and 11-month period, 40 (19 per cent) are still being investigated.

The report's author Dee Hackling, of PSD Analysts, said: "Whilst the above summary shows as a percentage of police officers and staff, complaints and conduct investigations of sexual misconduct are small, they have increased significantly in previous years, with many of these allegations still being investigated.

"This shows that confidence is starting to increase in the reporting of these allegations.

"It also shows that Thames Valley Police will take decisive action when sexual misconduct allegations are made."

The report also stated that between February 2020 and March 2024, the number of full-time equivalent officers has risen from 4,527 to 5,185, a rise of 14 per cent.

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In the same period, the number of police staff has risen from 3,348 full time equivalent staff to 3,760, a rise of 12 per cent.

The report was published on the TVP website after the force's Professional Standards Department saw an increase in the number of Freedom of Information requests submitted by both the public and Thames Valley Police's own officers and staff asking for information about sexual misconduct cases against serving police officers.

The force said the report "is designed to be transparent with the reporting and findings of allegations of sexual misconduct to improve confidence in reporting these matters".