MORE than a dozen allegations of sexual assault were made against serving police officers in Durham over five years, it has been revealed. 

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show 17 sexual assault claims were made against Durham Constabulary officers between 2016 and 2020.

Due to cases involving more than one officer, they related to 23 officers – although an officer could also be involved in more than one case.

Most were against male officers (22), while the sex of a further officer was unknown.

Read more: How many sexual assault claims were made against Cleveland Police officers 

Of the allegations against individual officers, two resulted in dismissals and two with a written warning.

The rest of the claims (19) saw no further action taken, meaning they were unfounded or withdrawn.

The data does not specify if the officers were on or off duty at the time the alleged incidents occurred.

Read more: The police officers dismissed in Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire

The sex of the person making the accusation was also unknown in each case.

The data from Durham Constabulary was in response to a request for the number of complaints of sexual assaults against serving police officers.

Complaints could also relate to historic allegations.

Of the cases against officers in the force between 2016 and 2020, 13 came from the members of the public and four from colleagues.

In a response to the figures, a spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “The public and Durham Constabulary quite rightly expects the highest professional standards from our officers at all times and appropriate action will be taken against anyone who fall short of those expectations”.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there is “a massive job” to be done in restoring women’s confidence in police after the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

Read more: 'Society is failing women' - calls for tougher action after Sarah Everard case

The End Violence Against Women Coalition, which includes groups like Rape Crisis, Refuge and Women's Aid, said few officers face "any meaningful consequences" for violence against women and girls nationally.

The organisation said the murder of Ms Everard took place within a broader context of violence perpetrated by the police, adding that trust in forces from women and girls was now at an all-time low.

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