1 in 40 London cops have been arrested in the past five years

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Hey, look at the bright side Cory. At least in the UK they’ll actually arrest a cop for breaking the law.


While the Met are pretty terrible at their jobs, the throwaway single statistic “They lead the UK in unsolved domestic burglaries.” is fucking terrible journalism.

How many different crimes are there? How many police forces are there? Is there any police force in the UK which doesn’t have the worst clear-up rate for something? Oh, yes… and in which place in the UK would you expect burglars to be hardest to catch?

(Free hint: probably some sort of large city.)

It’s also a pretty mild criticism, compared to - you know - the prevalance of officers who’ve been arrested for sex offences.

Without that line, the article is an indictment of an inbred, self-justifying and misogynist police culture. With it, it’s cheap propaganda. Lose it.


The original article is really weird - they don’t actually talk much about the corruption issues, or have anything really to say about them. There doesn’t seem to be any attempt to find an explanation to make sense of it, like the culture of corruption that existed in the Met in the '60s, for example. They spend most of the article talking about the burglary clear-up rate, which is both only slightly below the average, and seemingly entirely down to no longer going after burglary confessions from people arrested for other things… (Although it’s interesting that the City of London police have a much higher burglary clear-up rate than the average.)

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My impression is that, while “professional courtesy” is demanded and received far too often(since ‘at all’ would be too often, and it’s more often than that), cop-ly impunity is at its greatest when representing the department during a good, honest, beatdown of some undesirable; but gets less certain if you are off the clock, commit a crime orthogonal to your job, or otherwise fail to trigger the herd instincts of your colleagues.


I’m going to guess this is because they have the most domestic burglaries, and no police forces make any effort to solve any of those.


Slightly unfair double standards here. Arrested only means suspicion, not conviction - and I don’t think Cory would be using it to imply guilt in any other circumstances. The conviction rate is actually 1 in 200 over 5 years, or one in 1000 each year. Compare that to the general population - in England and Wales (pop c.88m) there are roughly 2million convictions or cautions each year - or one for each 42 residents. The figures aren’t directly comparable, particularly as lots of people are convicted of more than 1 offence, but it rather suggests that police officers are much less likely to be convicted of a crime than the general population.

The article also does not say “the majority of arrests are for sexual offences”, as Cory claims. It shows the majority of convictions are - again very different. Add into that many of the offences police officers might be convicted of will be the same sort of mistakes, bad judgement and hot temper that causes lots of other people to get in trouble with the law, i.e. completely unconnected to their professions and the suggestion that Met is a “hive of scum and villany” aren’t well evidenced.

I don’t particularly have a brief to defend the Met - but if you’re going to attack them let’s do it with proper evidence.


When reading the article I asked myself how the conviction rate compares to the general population - and you answered this. Thanks!

Do cautions include everyday things like parking violations? If so it probably not really comparable to the original article

Out of these [1600 arrested officers], 500 were convicted of offences, or suspended from duty on suspicion of committing offences.

But it’s probably impossible to find a real comparable figure, as no one tracks job suspension in the general population…


Parking tickets are almost always a civil offence in the UK, so won’t be included. People get cautions for quite serious criminal offences if they’ve got a clean record etc


Caution as in police caution?

The leaflet has some examples, but I still don’t get the extent of the caution - what offences can be handled by the police without including the courts?

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_caution More here - under some circumstances even comparatively serious crimes can result in cautions - robbery, sexual offences even.

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I linked exactly this wiki article and didn’t found a list of crimes punishable on the discretion of the police officer… The leaflet includes the category “simple caution”, where the office says something to the effect of “don’t do it again”, doesn’t sound like a reasonable penalty for crimes like "robbery and sexual offences.

Mostly I try to establish a base line here - is it possible to compare conviction rates (cautions and convictions) of the genpop with the numbers for police officers quoted in the Independent article?

From the Wiki: there must be reasonable suspicion to believe an offence has been committed. Urgh, this is lawfully determinable by a police officer in the UK? Creepy, I prefer more eyes on a case before I have to clean graffiti of a wall (one of the examples in the pdf).

It appears that in any case the defendant can refuse the caution and fight whatever charges the cops wish to press.

A caution doesn’t hurt you directly, but you can only ever get one, supposedly. So it is a sacrifice of that somewhat free card later on if you don’t fight it now.

I kinda like the logic of that.

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There was a bit of a fuss about their overuse in sex offences recently - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10011210/Hundreds-of-sex-offenders-escape-with-cautions.html I think they’re used where either the prosecution might be a bit iffy, or where the offender has a clean record. Most are used for minor crimes, someone being an idiot whilst drunk, for example, but there are more serious examples. They’re only given if the offender agrees - they can always refuse and see if the police will take them to trial instead.

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Busy little buggers, aren’t they?

Ah, I see. Now I even more think this shouldn’t be performed by police officers, @slybevel’s disagreement is noted :slight_smile: The separation of powers shouldn’t broken without a really good cause, here I don’t see one.

I tried to find crime statistics but couldn’t find a fitting category in the Eurostat databases, the German statistics office has the following numbers for 2013:

  • convicts under criminal code: 755938 (penalty orders and (suspended) prison sentences, both court verdicts and sentences by public prosecutors)
  • included population (14 years and older): 64523258

Are Britons really twice as criminal? Or is the definition of criminal offenders that different?

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Another way of putting what I said above is, turning down a caution is essentially suing the officer. At that point, the charges are dropped or you see him/her in court.

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I came here for this post, and I am SUPREMELY happy that it was the first. Top notch, all around.

So my question then is, out of these 1600 arrests how many are ‘repeat offenses’ vs. one-offs? Not that either one makes UK Police look very good… “Well ye have served yer time Jones, Welcome back ta da force! I’m sure not a single one of doughs ‘vulnerable’ women ya harassed will mind yer reinstatment.”

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That is a truly awesome rendering of a British accent.