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South Wales Police staff accused of domestic abuse still working

MORE than a dozen staff at South Wales Police are still working despite allegations of domestic abuse.

An investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and ITV revealed that 1,319 police officers and staff across the UK were accused of domestic abuse between January 2018 and September 2021.

There were 19 staff members for South Wales Police included in these figures, of whom 16 were still working for the force at the end of last year.

Of those reported, two were disciplined, one convicted of domestic abuse and two removed from their roles.

TBIJ’s data only records accusations of domestic abuse reported to the police

Chief Superintendent Danny Richards, head of professional standards at South Wales Police, said: “South Wales Police takes allegations of domestic abuse misconduct extremely seriously and will thoroughly investigate those who fail to uphold the highest standards of professional behaviour.

“The force employs a workforce of some 5,000 and the vast majority of our staff and officers demonstrate the highest level of conduct at all times.

“In the most serious cases where allegations have been proven, officers have been dismissed from the organisation.

“Referrals are also made to the College of Policing for officers to be added to the Barring List, preventing them from returning to the profession.

“It is this sort of unacceptable behaviour which undermines the trust that the public place in our service as well as the efforts of the vast majority of officers and staff who work hard to keep our communities safe.

“Please note that an allegation is not itself a finding of any kind, but all are taken seriously and proportionately investigated.”

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Freedom of information requests received from 41 UK police forces showed that around 82 per cent of police officers and staff who were reported for alleged domestic abuse were still working at police forces.

Around three per cent had been dismissed, while almost 16 per cent either resigned, retired or left for other reasons.

Ruth Davison, the CEO of Refuge, said: “I can’t overstate how serious this is. Domestic abuse is fundamentally about power and control, the abuse of power.

“And police officers do have power — they’re supposed to use that for our benefit to uphold the law and to keep us safe.”

Disciplinary actions, which can include written warnings or suspension, were taken against nine per cent, but only three per cent of reports led to convictions.

A spokeswoman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Figures such as these will cause concern to victims and we want to assure you that policing is working hard to root out those who display misogynistic characteristics.

“Everyone must call out inappropriate behaviour when they see it and the support systems must be in place for those who report domestic abuse and other crimes which disproportionately affect women.”

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