Dozens of allegations of sexual assault were made against serving male police officers in Hampshire over five years, figures reveal.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there is “a massive job” to be done in restoring women’s confidence in police after the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

Hampshire Constabulary 

Figures obtained by RADAR under the Freedom of Information Act show 38 sexual assault claims were made against male Hampshire Constabulary officers between 2016 and 2020.

Of the claims where there was a case to answer, two resulted in resignation or dismissal, one with a written warning. In a fourth, the officer died.

The allegations were not founded in 28 cases.

A total of 12 had a result of "no case to answer", 12 were not upheld and in four it was deemed that “acceptable service” had been provided by the officer.

Meanwhile, two were withdrawn, one was discontinued and one was subject of a disapplication, which means it may no longer be dealt with under complaints legislation.

A further two were under investigation at the time of the FOI response on July 20.

Dorset Police

Figures obtained by RADAR under the Freedom of Information Act show three sexual assault complaints were made against Dorset Police officers between 2016 and 2020.

Two were against male officers, while in one the sex was recorded as unknown.

Two of the complaints were withdrawn or removed.

The third was a live case at the time of the FOI response on May 7.

The data does not specify if the officers were on or off duty at the time the alleged incidents occurred.

The sex of the person making the accusation was also unknown in each case.

Responses from 33 police forces across Great Britain revealed that most claims over five years related to male officers, where their sex was recorded.

'Radical overhaul' needed

The End Violence Against Women Coalition, which includes groups like Rape Crisis, Refuge and Women's Aid, said few officers face "any meaningful consequences" for violence against women and girls nationally.

The organisation said the murder of Ms Everard took place within a broader context of violence perpetrated by the police, adding that trust in forces from women and girls was now at an all-time low.

Deputy director Denzi Uğur said: "We need to see a radical overhaul of how the police respond to violence against women – especially within their own ranks.

"This means greater accountability and urgent, coordinated and strategic action to address violence against women.

"Ultimately, we need to address these widespread institutional failings before we can even begin to address women’s confidence in the police."

The data from Hampshire Constabulary and Dorset Police was in response to a request for the number of complaints of sexual assaults against serving police officers.

It covered public complaints and internal conduct matters, which include those raised by members of the police against their colleagues.

Complaints could relate to historic allegations.

Call for change in the culture of policing

The Prime Minister has called for a change in the culture of policing following the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving police officer Wayne Couzens.

Home Secretary Priti Patel this week launched an independent inquiry into the "systematic failures" by police following the murder of Ms Everard.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The Home Secretary is determined to do everything in her power to deliver improvements within policing and across the criminal justice system.

“The inquiry will look into wider issues across policing – including vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour.

“As the public would rightly expect, we take police integrity very seriously and have already taken steps to overhaul the police complaints and discipline systems."

Inquiry welcomed

The inquiry has been welcomed by the National Police Chief's Council chairman, Martin Hewitt, who said vetting and professional standards procedures needed to be scrutinised to restore public confidence.

"I think having an independent inquiry is a very good way for that to be to be dealt with to really help us provide that reassurance," he added.

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