Sexual Misconduct in Police Recruits as identified by Police Trainers
Journal: Police Journal
Police sexual misconduct is an under-researched type of police corruption. Although rare, it has serious negative ramifications for both the victims and the reputation of the police. When officers join, there is an extended period of training during which potential warning signs of sexual misconduct may be displayed. This research explored how police trainers identify and deal with sexual misconduct in new recruits. Six focus groups across four police forces in the South of England were conducted – a total of 25 police training staff. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Sexually inappropriate language and sexual touching was witnessed during training, with both recruits and trainers as victims. Police trainers are confident in dealing with such incidents; however, more serious allegations did not result in disciplinary action. Victims and witnesses were reluctant to report incidents, and this may hinder the early identification of recruits who require more discipline or who are potentially unsuitable for police work.