More than half of police forces in England and Wales have received more complaints of corruption and sexual misconduct than the Met, it has been revealed.
Despite Scotland Yard being the most furious over incidents of police misconduct in the UK, figures suggest the problem is much more widespread.
An analysis of data from the Independent Office for Police Conduct found that forces such as Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and West Yorkshire Police (WYP) all received more complaints per 1,000 employees than the Met.
The statistics refer to complaints filed in the seven years prior to March 2020.
They revealed that when taking into account the number of employees each corps has, some smaller corps saw a higher proportion of complaints, the Financial times reports.
As a result, Leicestershire Police, Lincolnshire Police and Gwent Police see a higher number of specific types of complaints relative to their size than those of the Met and GMP.
When comparing the four largest police forces, GMP has more complaints of corruption, discrimination, non-sexual violence and sexual conduct or assault than the Met per 1,000 employees.
Data from the Independent Office for Police Conduct shows apparent widespread problems with police misconduct (stock image)
These forces are all known as ‘peer’ forces as they are classified as police areas with similar social, economic and crime-related demographics.
While the data can make comparisons between different forces, experts say the data could be influenced by the different ways forces register complaints and how easy they make it to complain.
While the number of complaints may be higher with larger forces, problems with smaller forces are highlighted when viewed based on the number of employees in the organization.
For example, while the Met Police saw 17.1 allegations of corruption per 1,000 employees, the Leicestershire Police saw 62 complaints of corruption per 1,000 employees.
Regional forces such as North Wales (52.5), Northumbria (42.9) and Gwent (34.6) all saw more corruption claims compared to larger forces such as GMP (32.8).
This also extended to complaints of sexual assault or sexual conduct, with Gwent police facing 21 charges per 1,000 employees, compared to the Met, which faced 5.5.
Wiltshire (11.1), Dyfed Powys (10.4) and Nottinghamshire (10), all saw more allegations of this nature per 1,000 people than GMP, which saw 9.6.
Data shows that smaller police forces have received more complaints per 1,000 employees than some larger police forces
Non-assault claims made up the bulk of complaints filed with the police over the seven-year period.
These Midlands forces in Lincolnshire (263.7) and Nottinghamshire (237.3) received the highest number of complaints per 1,000 employees.
This was followed by Northumbria (235.5), GMP (231.6) and Merseyside (212.8).
Police in southern England saw the highest rate of discrimination claims, with Bedfordshire leading the way with 90.8 complaints per 1,000 staff.
Hertfordshire (85.2), Surrey (77.6), City of London (72.3) and WYP (63.3) followed.
These allegations do not include complaints from police personnel against their colleagues, while allegations may refer to the same employee multiple times.
Sue Fish, former chief of police for Nottinghamshire, told the Financial Times the data shows ‘the police have a really big problem’
She added that forces need to address the culture within their organization: “It is still seen as the bad apple or monster scenario, when really there are very few monsters. There are an awful lot of men who do bad things. Many of them are police officers.’
When the Financial Times contacted them about the findings, police said they are taking the issues very seriously.
Nottinghamshire said the high number of complaints it received was a reflection of how comfortable alleged victims in the area felt coming forward.
Bedfordshire said the small number of workers and diverse population in the area it covers may have influenced the numbers.
Hertfordshire and GMP noted that a direct comparison between police forces may not be reliable as different services register complaints in different ways.
Wiltshire and Dyfed Powys did not respond to requests for comment from the Financial Times.