The highest ranking officer is a Detective Constable with a robbery conviction, while two other DCs have convictions for careless driving and possession of cannabis.Perhaps CEOP would like to offer Gary Glitter a job, since it seems prior (and current) criminality is not necessarily a bar to employment?
And a total of 15 Essex Police officers have been taken on even though they had criminal records before joining the force, a freedom of information request has disclosed.
Politicians are quick to point out the ludicrous double-standards:
James Duddridge, Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East, said he was "absolutely flabbergasted" serving officers had these criminal records.Most people wouldn’t consider these ‘minor offences’ either, but you could argue the police are just taking the same lenient view of criminality as the judiciary…
He said: "I find it ludicrous someone might have a problem working for the Scouts because they have a conviction for possessing cannabis but wouldn't have a problem working with the drugs squad. I don't consider these minor offences in any way shape or form.
Police officers should be beyond reproach."
Needless to say, the police mouthpieces are quick to try to justify this:
Tony Rayner, chairman of the Essex Branch of the Police Federation, defended the figures however.Yes, nobody’s saying it isn’t ‘the decision they have taken’. They are questioning the wisdom of them having made the decision!
He said: "I do not know the circumstances of each case but if Essex Police has looked at them and felt the offence was in the past and of such a nature it did not prevent the person becoming a police officer, then that's the decision that has been taken."
Essex Police spokesman Nishan Wijeratne said: "While the majority of officers either resign or lose their job as a result of a hearing, in a small number of cases they remain in the service.It should be very ‘small’. It should be zero.
"This is generally for motoring related offences or where extenuating circumstances mean they are considered to be suitable to continue as a police officers.
"With almost 3,500 serving police officers the number of such cases is very small."
And I’d love to see the ‘extenuating circumstances’ that mean a DC with a robbery conviction isn’t dismissed…
Although, in a case of classic timing, the Nottingham