A report into police ethics has found dozens of officers are involved with criminal gangs who supply them with bodybuilding drugs. Dozens more were found to be abusing their powers for sexual favors. The new research was commissioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers in England and Wales. It says almost every force in the country is investigating police who have formed inappropriate relationships with people supplying bodybuilding drugs.
Sexual exploitation and steroid abuse are threats to the integrity of British Police.
That’s the finding of a new report by Transparency International – which looks into the ethics of police officers.
They warn that some officers have become dependent on criminal gangs who supply them with steroids to help with body building.
Dozens of British Police Officers are being investigated for abusing their position of trust.
The Association of Chief Police Officers has admitted that some officers are exploiting victims of domestic violence for sexual favors and using steroids supplied by criminals in gyms.
ACPO say in their report that behavior like this is the greatest threat to police integrity in Britain.
ACPO is also warning that police forces are facing a national threat of corruption from officers abusing steroids in bodybuilding gyms. Some officers get hooked on bodybuilding drugs and then form illegal connections with dealers.
Dr. Tim Parsons, is a former police officer and now senior lecturer of police and criminology at London Metropolitan University:
“This problem is not new. Historically, unfortunately, there’s always been a minority of police officers who have been drawn into corruption or serious organized crime or been found guilty of serious criminal offences”.
ACPO’s ordered the report from an anti-corruption group Transparency International. And, according to Chief Constable Michael Cunningham, ‘Public trust and confidence in the police are absolutely central to Britain’s model of policing by consent.’
Dr. Louise Westmarland who was involved in collating evidence for the report has been researching the ethics and integrity of police forces in the UK for more than 13 years.
“There’s no evidence that shows that police in the U.K. are more corrupted than they have ever been. It’s just the situation has changed as the result of Lord Leveson’s Inquiry. There’ve been allegations about senior officers and other officers down the chain accepting goods and services. But corruption is a very difficult thing to measure, even where police forces do discover it, they don’t want to publicize it, even when they are found out”.
Dr. Westmarland says it’s still not known to what extent British police officers are corrupt, despite the review being commissioned by ACPO’s chief Constable Michael Cunningham.
“It’s a secret activity kept secret as it’s an issue of legitimacy, nobody knows. It just has been a topic too difficult to touch until now”.
One case to hit the headlines in the UK was when PC Stephen Mitchel from Northumbria Police was jailed for life in January 2011 for sexually assaulting female drug addicts or shoplifters who had been arrested. The judge said Mitchell was a ruthless sexual predator and a danger to women.
“The Independent Police Complaints Commission has since called for more vetting of officers in specific situations. In 2012, the IPCC uncovered more than 50 cases of corruption considered to be sexual exploitation or assault by officers”.
Dr. Westmarland says despite the IPCC wanting to investigate individual cases and carry out research into why officers abuse their position of power for sexual favors, it doesn’t have the resources to carry it out.
“Quite frankly, the IPCC has got so many other things that they’re looking at the moment! They’ve got Hillsborough disaster, which could potentially end up being an issue of police corruption. They’ve got the Leveson inquiry, they’ve got operation Elevedon going on. There’re a lot of things happening at the moment. It all seems like everything is bursting out of the wood work at the same time. And if police officers want to do something about it, they may be at a loss of what to do”.
Professor Mike Rowe from Northumbria University, who also worked on the report into police integrity with Dr. Westmarland, says police sometimes abuse their power to help an investigation.
“Police are abusing their powers for what’s sometimes referred to as noble cause of police powers, where officers believe they are behaving in the interest of justice.”
But, according to Dr. Tim Parsons, the other threat to police corruption is the Home Office.
“I do think that there’s a risk of this becoming an increasing problem with the Home Office reducing starting pay for police officers to 19,000 pounds. In the UK police officers, more than most other countries have a huge amount of executive power invested in them that they can use in their own discretion, which should have been born in mind before pay levels were set.
In other countries where police corruption is endemic it’s because police officers receive extremely low pay, so are immediately open and vulnerable to corruption from organized crime where criminals have money to spend on targeting and corrupting police officers, so it’s a rather short slighted approach and not in the best interests of the public”.
News published on: http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_24/British-police-on-bodybuilding-drugs/