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Cases of police abusing role for sexual gain have risen sharply, says watchdog

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Cases of police abusing role for sexual gain have risen sharply, says watchdog

Police officers and staff abusing their position for sexual gain is now the largest form of police corruption, a watchdog has said.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) revealed the number of cases in England and Wales had “risen sharply” in the past three years, warning that perpetrators have “no place in policing”.

Between April 2018 and March 2021, 66 officers and police staff faced misconduct proceedings having been investigated for abusing their position for a sexual purpose, including 42 in the past year alone.

Misconduct was proven in 63 of the cases, with 52 police officers or staff facing gross misconduct proceedings for the worst offences. More than half – 38 – were sacked or retired, as well as barred from working for the police again, the IOPC said.

Seven people were also prosecuted for criminal offences, leading to six convictions. Three were given immediate prison sentences.

The latest figures show a significant increase, with the IOPC investigating 70 police officers and staff over allegations of abuse of position for a sexual purpose (APSP) in the past year, compared with just 10 in 2016.

The IOPC’s deputy director general for operations, Claire Bassett, said: “What these numbers tell us is that this is a very serious form of corruption, but also those police officers that do this will get caught and will suffer significant sanction for that if they do.

“Those that do indulge in this are highly likely to lose their jobs and they may well face criminal sanctions and custodial sentences as a result.

“It’s really important that there is a culture in policing that has a zero tolerance of any form of behaviour that is insulting, is sexist, is homophobic: there is just no place for that in modern policing.”

Describing the behaviour as an “appalling abuse of the public’s trust” which has a “devastating impact” on the often vulnerable people involved, she added: “Recent events we have seen, including the horrific actions of Wayne Couzens, remind us that policing must act to root out this kind of behaviour once and for all.”

Abuse of a position for a sexual purpose was the “single largest form of police corruption”, the IOPC said, making up about a quarter of all corruption referrals last year – almost 60% of investigations.

However, the data does not include action being taken by individual forces carrying out their own disciplinary proceedings into sexual misconduct.

The body’s predecessor – the Independent Police Complaints Commission – found in 2017 that some forces were not treating sexual misconduct as a form of corruption.

The IOPC said the rise could be put down to an increased effort to sanction those responsible, as heightened awareness of the problem led to more cases being reported.

Bassett warned that, in many cases, the actions may appear “harmless at first”, such as sending messages from a personal phone or putting kisses at the end of a text message, but this could be the “start of a pattern of escalating behaviour”.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for counter-corruption, chief constable Lauren Poultney, said: “The figures released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct will cause concern.

“I want to emphasise that we are working hard to root out those who are attracted to policing for the wrong reasons.”

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NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

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Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.

 

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