CLEVELAND Police had the highest rate of employee arrests in the region, new figures have shown.

Arrests disclosed by the force of 16 officers and six staff members since 2015 equate to 4 in every thousand workers.

The force also had the highest percentage of staff members arrested in the country over the past four years.

Figures for North Yorkshire Police and Northumbria Police show a rate of two in every thousand, with Durham Constabulary’s limited disclosure giving a rate of 1 in a thousand.

Cleveland’s chief constable Richard Lewis said the force held officers and staff to the “very highest standards”.

He said the force’s approach of arresting employees rather than allowing them to attend interviews voluntarily meant they were not treated leniently and meant the cases were dealt with transparently, adding: “This should reassure and not alarm our communities.”

Sex crimes, drink driving, drugs offences and misconduct in public officer were among the offences Cleveland officers were arrested in connection with.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary, which disclosed seven arrests, said the force would rigorously investigate any allegations suggesting that conduct of officers and staff had fallen short of public expectations.

The majority of the cases they disclosed resulted in no further action being taken by the criminal justice system but were in connection with offences including stalking, theft and coercive and controlling behaviour.

One officer accused of stalking was found not guilty at court but dismissed from the force following an investigation.

Northumbria provided details of 34 employee arrests, in connection with offences including GBH, sex crimes, corrupt or improper exercise of police power, assault and drug driving.

Northumbria Police’s spokeswoman assured the public that the force was “committed to taking positive action when individuals fall below expected standards of behaviour”.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward, of North Yorkshire Police – which disclosed 23 arrests - said they were proud of the majority of officers and staff who worked with honesty and integrity.

She added: “However, it is disappointing and unacceptable that on occasions the actions of our staff and officers fall far below the standards expected and in those instances, we have thorough processes in place to ensure appropriate action is taken.”

Arrests in North Yorkshire saw officers accused of committing offences including child cruelty and neglect, grooming, gross indecency with a child, indecent assault, stalking and rape.

  • The Northern Echo understands that figures relating to convictions could be considerably higher when taking into account limited disclosure from forces and the officers and staff who were charged with offences following voluntary interviews.