CHILD neglect, dangerous driving and abuse of position are some of the allegations for which police staff were arrested in recent years.

Newsquest’s Data Investigations Unit can reveal that 16 Cumbria police officers and staff have been arrested since 2015.

Detective Chief Inspector Jenny Beattie, head of Cumbria police’s professional standards department, said that while the number was very low, it showed that the force treats employees as robustly as any other member of the public.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the force did not provide a breakdown of offences employees were arrested for nor details of any conviction or disciplinary measure, but the force’s own website provides some information into misconduct outcomes.

The investigation reveals the number of employees arrested in Cumbria is equivalent to an average of around one every three months. The force currently employs 1,681 people.

Earlier this year, Barrow officer Dave Edwards resigned the day before a disciplinary hearing that found he had inappropriately touched three female police colleagues on their breasts and buttocks while out on a work Christmas party.

The police misconduct hearing panel said Mr Edwards would have been dismissed, had he not resigned. He had already received a final written warning last November.

In 2017, former police officer Nicholas Pool, of Penrith, pleaded guilty to 14 offences, including inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making and possessing indecent photographs of a child.

He was dismissed without notice from the force following his arrest.

Information analysed by Newsquest’s Data Investigations Unit shows that last year a member of staff who had worked for the force for more than 17 years resigned after being arrested for child neglect, among other allegations.

Another employee, who worked with the force for more than four years, was arrested earlier this year for abuse of position, breach of data protection and possession of cannabis. Cumbria police has suspended the employee pending an investigation. Another member of staff was arrested this year on suspicion of dangerous driving and failing to stop.

They would have been dismissed had they not resigned.

At least 1,190 employees of 31 police forces across the country were arrested between 2015 and May 2019 – the equivalent of six a week. Of those arrested, at least 913 were officers and 272 were police staff.

DCI Beattie said: “The vast majority of police officers and staff at Cumbria Constabulary fulfil their duties serving the public to the highest possible standard. But nobody is above the law. And these figures, no matter how small they are – representing just a tiny minority of the number of people employed by Cumbria Constabulary - show that as a constabulary, we will treat any employee, whether officer or staff, as robustly as any other member of the public.

“If an officer or a member of staff is suspected of criminal activity, we act quickly to investigate as we want to ensure Cumbria Constabulary and the police service maintains the highest standards of integrity and conduct.

“Our code of ethics is well-embedded.

“When employees of Cumbria Constabulary fall short of these standards, well-established and rigorous processes are in place to ensure appropriate action is taken.

“But I’m proud to report that the cases are few and far between – and the public can be assured that the overwhelming majority of our staff stick to the highest standards of behaviour and work extremely hard every day, in sometimes very difficult circumstances, to keep Cumbria safe.

“Our officers are also regularly commended and recognised for their bravery and actions as they tackle crime and work for our communities across Cumbria.”