England

Devon and Cornwall Police reveal officers' criminal offences

More than 100 officers in Devon and Cornwall Police have criminal convictions, the force has said.

Figures released by the force show that 90 officers and 10 special constables were found guilty of offences before joining and 11 while serving.

These included shoplifting, drug possession and common assault while one PC was convicted of burglary as a teenager.

The figures were released after a Freedom of Information request.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said: "We take the professionalism of our staff very seriously indeed.

"We always review any incidents where officers have got into trouble, whether it's for minor driving offences or any criminal convictions and we have a presumption which says they will lose their jobs or be dismissed if they get a criminal conviction."

The Home Office issued guidelines in 2003 saying that police officers should have "proven integrity" because they are vulnerable to pressure from criminals to reveal information.

The guidance says forces should reject applicants with convictions for serious offences unless there are "exceptionally compelling circumstances".

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