SEXUALLY assaulting victims and possession of illegal firearms are among the accusations made against police officers in Essex.

In 2013 more than 1,000 complaints were made, with about one in ten upheld, and several resulted in criminal charges.

Other allegations included perjury, possession of indecent images, and illegally accessing data.
The figures were revealed by police and crime commissioner Nick Alston in two documents citing the last six months of complaints and alleged misconduct.

He said: ““I am not surprised it happens but I am disappointed about the number of serious incidents.

“The community has reasonable expectations and they are entitled to know what is happening and they have the right to know things are going to be dealt with.”

One now former officer with Essex Police has been convicted of possession of an illegal firearm.

Other allegations include: disclosing confidential information to criminals, assault while off duty, possessing indecent images, using excessive force against a youth, inappropriate relationships with witness and abuse of position.

One officer is being investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting two victims of crime.

Several of the officers involved have resigned or been fired and put on a disapproved register to stop them becoming police officers elsewhere.

Mr Alston said: “I am very conscious police officers, PCSOs and police staff are currently working tirelessly to investigate the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Al-Manea, and to keep both Colchester and all the communities of Essex safe.

“Many officers and PCSOs are working back-to-back 12 hour shifts, day after day.

“They deserve our respect, our support and our thanks.

“But I have yet to speak to a member of Essex Police who does not believe high professional standards matter.

“The vast majority of police officers, PCSOs and police staff feel that acts of misconduct, or those even more rare acts of criminality, performed by their colleagues let down everyone in the force.

“Police officers are figures of authority. They and their colleagues must act responsibly and professionally at all times.

“I am aware there may be public shock and disappointment at some of the details.

“I would ask everyone to remember that, including police officers, PCSOs, police staff and Special Constables, almost 6,000 people work for Essex Police, and there are hundreds of thousands of interactions between the public and the force, often in difficult circumstances, every year.”