MORE than a dozen employees are still working at Sussex Police despite being accused of domestic abuse, figures reveal.

The statistics, obtained in an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and ITV, reveal over 1,300 police officers and staff across the UK were reported for domestic abuse between January 2018 and September last year.

They included 18 in Sussex Police – and 16 of them were still in a job with the force towards the end of last year, when the Freedom of Information requests were sent out.

Of those reported for domestic abuse, one was disciplined, none were convicted of domestic abuse and none removed from their roles.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Protecting vulnerable people is a priority for Sussex Police.

“We take any report of allegedly inappropriate behaviour by our officers or staff very seriously and always act when our employees are found to have fallen below the standards we and the public expect. 

“We have a responsibility to recognise abuse of power as a distinct area of corruption and behaviour which falls below the standards expected will be dealt with robustly through whatever channels are available.

“However, the information provided needs to be assessed in context. 

“There will have been some 5,000 employees in the force at any one time over the almost four years that the data refers to.

“In the time currently available we haven't analysed each of the 18 reports but the data appears to relate solely to allegations, not outcomes. 

“All allegations, of whatever kind, are investigated and reports sent to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) if there is any evidence of criminal conduct. 

“Even when a case does not meet the criminal threshold disciplinary action can still be considered. 

“Cases will also be shared with the Independent Office For Police Conduct (IOPC).

“However there are cases in which the evidence available, or the allegations themselves, do not show evidence of criminal or other misconduct. 

“In every case a response will have been provided to the person making the allegation.”

The data comes just a month after a watchdog report into a London police station found officers exchanging WhatsApp messages that included rape threats and jokes about abusing their partners.

Freedom of Information requests received from 41 UK police forces reveal that 1,080 (82 per cent) of 1,319 police officers and staff who were reported for alleged domestic abuse were still working at police forces.

Just 36 (three per cent) had been dismissed, while 203 either resigned, retired or left for other reasons.

TBIJ's data only records accusations of domestic abuse reported to the police.

Disciplinary actions, which can include written warnings or suspension, were taken against 120 officers and staff (nine per cent), but just 45 reports (three per cent) led to convictions.

A spokeswoman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Figures such as these will cause concern to victims and we want to assure you that policing is working hard to root out those who display misogynistic characteristics.

"Everyone must call out inappropriate behaviour when they see it and the support systems must be in place for those who report domestic abuse and other crimes which disproportionately affect women.”