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Nine police workers investigated after Sarah Everard murder sparks mass security screening | UK News


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Nine police officers and staff are being investigated for alleged sex and drug crimes and fraud after a security screening of all UK forces.

They are among 461 cases identified in a mass trawl of national intelligence databases.

Police Minister Chris Philp said the results had raised “new serious concerns in a small number of cases”.

Another 88 individuals are being investigated over disciplinary concerns and 139 are having their original vetting re-examined.

The review, the biggest ever, checked more than 300,000 police, staff and volunteers against records of suspicious behaviour.

It was carried out in the wake of the abduction, rape and murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard by serving Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens.

He used his police powers and equipment falsely to arrest her and was jailed for life without parole.

Wayne Couzens
Wayne Couzens was jailed for life for murdering Ms Everard

It was later discovered that previous concerns about his behaviour towards women had been ignored.

The case triggered the Casey Review into Metropolitan Police culture and standards and its critical findings led to a check on all officers and staff.

The criminal investigations involve five officers from the rank of chief inspector down and four police staff.

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HR records from all forces were checked against the Police National Database (PND), which contains intelligence and operational information, in a bid to flush out anyone who chief constables felt should not be in the job.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said 307,452 officers, staff and volunteers had been checked against the database, with 461 of the most serious cases requiring a review by a senior officer.

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‘There is a problem with the Met Police’

Other less serious cases where information was found on the PND were reviewed internally by forces but they were not required to provide the numbers to the NPCC.

NPCC chairman, chief constable Gavin Stephens, said: “The cross-checking of records on such a large scale was a significant task, which shows our commitment right across policing to identify those who do not meet the high standards expected.

“Police forces responded with urgency, enabling us to carry out the largest integrity screening project that policing has ever seen.

“Despite the comparatively low numbers of returns the exercise was important in ensuring we have a strong foundation on which to build an automated process.”

“We look forward to working with our colleagues across government and policing to make this a reality,” Mr Stephens added.

“I hope that it gives further reassurance to communities, and to colleagues in policing, that the overwhelming majority of the workforce can be trusted, and that if you are involved in wrongdoing, there is no place to hide.”

The Metropolitan Police said it had found no matters that needed criminal investigation after examining its 50,000 officers and staff.

The force had launched 58 disciplinary investigations, 17 of them involving allegations of gross misconduct which could lead to dismissal.

The NPCC said its national review also unearthed 400 cases where officers, staff or volunteers had been a victim of, or witness to, a crime, that were not previously known about by their employer.

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