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1,000 British police have criminal convictions

MORE than 1,000 serving police officers in Britain have criminal records, figures obtained under freedom of information laws showed yesterday.

Convictions of the 1,063 officers include 77 for violence, 36 for theft and 96 for dishonesty. Five of these officers were reinstated by the British Home Office after being sacked by their local forces.

More than half the convictions were for speeding, drunk-driving or other motoring offenses, according to the figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats from 41 of Britain's 52 police forces.

Another 210 officers have been dismissed or required to resign in the past five years due to criminal convictions.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman Chris Huhne said that officers convicted of violence or dishonesty should be dismissed immediately.

"A serving police officer is expected by members of the public to be self-controlled and self-restrained in the use of force," Huhne told BBC television.

"If there is dishonesty, police offices can't actually do their duty in giving evidence ... The defense would completely shred their credibility in court."

The Association of Chief Police Officers said that it was very rare for anyone with a criminal conviction to be recruited.


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