More than a thousand allegations against the police in twelve months

PUBLISHED: 16:28 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 12 August 2010

ALLEGATIONS: Police are investigated

ALLEGATIONS: Police are investigated

NINE allegations of sexual assault were levelled against police officers last year.  Bromley police was the only borough in south east London to receive any allegations of sexual assault against officers in 2008, though none were upheld after investigatio

NINE allegations of sexual assault were levelled against police officers last year.

Bromley police was the only borough in south east London to receive any allegations of sexual assault against officers in 2008, though none were upheld after investigation.

In one incident it was claimed that eight officers had sexually assaulted a person who resisted a strip search, the Times can reveal.

The grievances were among some 1,054 allegations made against officers in Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham last year, ranging from serious assault to impoliteness.

Despite the large volume of claims, revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request, just two were 'substantiated' after investigation.

A Bromley police spokesman said the person who claimed to be sexually assaulted during a strip search had been "violently resisting" officers.

He added: "The complainants alleged that strip search was a form of sexual assault."

The borough, which employed 487 officers last year and received allegations against 175, currently has one officer suspended over a rape allegation made on September 19.

Between January 1 and December 31 last year, 270 allegations were made against officers in Bromley, 222 against those in Greenwich, and 167 against Bexley police. Lewisham police received 395 allegations.

The complaints included five claiming serious assault by Greenwich officers, two complaints of corrupt practice and 16 of perjury.

Greenwich Police said no action was taken against seven officers who had serious assault complaints lodged against them, as none were substantiated after investigation.

A spokesperson added that the borough's eight allegations of perjury or irregularity in evidence were levelled against eight officers, all awaiting conclusion.

Currently, Greenwich Sergeant Marcus Garvey faces trial at Southwark Crown Court with PC Wayne Campbell and PCSO Stefanie Loftus for allegedly perverting the course of justice.

Officer's driving was subject to complaint three times last year, twice in Greenwich and once in Bromley.

Bromley PC Malcolm Searles is currently awaiting sentencing after admitting last month (22) to killing a grandmother whilst speeding in a police car.

Police Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley were accused of committing an assault 145 times, and of being impolite, uncivil or intolerant 109 times.

Bromley police received 20 complaints of discrimination, whilst Greenwich had 15 and Bexley five.

Complaints are investigated, but rarely verified by proof.

The only substantiated allegation in Bromley was where a complainant was left to walk home in his slippers and without a coat after being mistakenly arrested instead of his brother. One other claim was substantiated in Lewisham.

Of the 1,054 allegations made against 629 south-east London officers last year, 340 were investigated but judged to be unsubstantiated.

However, 343 complaints were 'locally resolved', whilst 166 were given dispensation to investigate by the IPCC, discontinued or not recorded, and 99 were withdrawn.

The rest, 104 complaints, had yet to be concluded.

Matt Bell, Bromley's deputy borough commander, said: "The primary function of our role will place us in conflict with individuals and this will always attract complaints.

"All complaints are fully investigated to determine whether a criminal offence or a breach of the code of conduct for police officers has taken place".

An MPS spokesman also claimed the allegations levelled against officers were a result of being at the sharp end of tackling crime.

He added: "All MPS employees are expected to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times. Any instance where the conduct of our staff brings the service into disrepute is treated extremely seriously.

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