WEST Yorkshire police is one of 10 forces in the country to refuse to disclose how many serving officers have criminal convictions on cost grounds.
In response to a Freedom of Information Request sent to 43 forces in the country, a total of 33 completed the request (some partially) revealing some 944 currently serving officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) have a conviction.
But West Yorkshire Police – along with nine other forces – declined to complete the request on cost grounds.
Freedom of Information Officer for West Yorkshire Police Lauren Ratcliff said in the response to the request: “To obtain the information requested would involve checking the personnel file of all police officers currently employed by the force as this information is not centrally held.
“There are currently over 5,600 officers employed by West Yorkshire Police and each of their files would have to be examined to determine whether there are convictions.
“At an estimate of 10 minutes per record, this would take in the region of 933 hours to complete.”
The response went on to say the cost of locating and providing the information would exceed the time threshold.
Of those who did complete the Freedom of Information request The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest force, came top with 356 officers and 41 PCSOs with convictions.
It was followed by Kent Police (49), Devon and Cornwall Police (44), Essex Police (42), South Yorkshire Police (35), Hampshire Police (31) and West Midlands Police (27), although not all the figures are directly comparable.
Most of the convictions are for traffic offences such as speeding and drink-driving, but the records also include a South Yorkshire Police officer convicted of fishing without a licence.
Home Office guidelines issued in 2003 say police officers should have “proven integrity” because they are vulnerable to pressure from criminals to reveal information.