DOZENS of officers have been dismissed from Sussex Police over the past five years, new figures show.

Data from the Home Office shows 29 officers have been dismissed from the force since April 2017 – including ten in the year to March.

The figures refer to officers who were made redundant, have been made to resign, or have had their contracts terminated, including any asked to leave the force due to misconduct.

Across England and Wales 192 officers were sacked in 2021-22, up from 179 the year before.

Though dismissals are not always due to misconduct, the conduct of police officers has come under greater scrutiny in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens, who will never be freed from prison after losing an appeal against his whole life sentence last week.

Data from the College of Policing, a professional body, shows that nationally 257 officers were placed on the "barred list" in the year to March 2021 – the latest figures – including five in Sussex.

This means they can no longer serve in the police, having been found to have committed gross misconduct while in the force.

The number of officers added to the list is higher than the number of dismissals, as many instead choose to resign or retire – 118 did so nationally in 2021.

The National Police Chiefs Council, a staff body for police leaders, said a "tiny minority" of police officers undermine public trust and confidence in policing.

A spokesman said: “Where officers don’t meet the expected standards of behaviour they will be dealt with directly, and this could result in them losing their jobs or in the most serious cases, a criminal conviction.

"Everyone in policing needs to contribute to an inclusive, professional and ethical culture.

“As a result of shining a light, more misconduct will be discovered, more officers will be sanctioned, leave the service or even be charged and convicted of crimes.”

Police forces are also grappling with increased resignations, the Home Office figures show.

The number of officers leaving the force has reached an all-time high across England and Wales, fuelled in part by a surge in voluntary resignations.

In the year to March, 3,653 officers resigned, a significant increase on the 2,154 the year before, and including 106 in Sussex.

But despite this, there has been a net increase in the number of police officers nationally, with new recruits being hired as part of the Government's pledge of 20,000 new officers by 2023.

Dr Sarah Charman, professor of criminology at the University of Portsmouth, said retention should be a "priority" for policing bodies.

"Resigning police officers talk of their love for their work and their colleagues – police forces need to consider how to better value that commitment."

A Home Office spokesman said: “The public put their trust in the police and expect them to carry out their duties to the highest professional standards.

“Dedicated and decent police officers are the majority, but the minority who fall short of the standards expected of them must be dealt with robustly and fairly.”

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “We expect the highest levels of professionalism from our officers, staff and volunteers and for them to act in accordance with the code of ethics and standards of professional behaviour both on and off duty.

The vast majority of our people are a credit to the force, working hard to protect communities and catch criminals, however when there are people who behave in a way which falls far below these expected standards, we will take robust action.

"Unacceptable conduct will not be tolerated at Sussex Police and therefore in all cases where gross misconduct is found, the officer or staff member will be dismissed and placed on the barred list.

"This also applies when an officer or staff member resigns during an investigation and the gross misconduct is proven.”