NEARLY a dozen Hampshire Police employees have been arrested, including one officer on suspicion of rape, in recent years, the Echo can reveal.

Figures from 2015 to 2018 reveal eight police constables, two volunteer constables and one police staff worker were arrested for a variety of alleged offences, including drink-driving, threats to kill and attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child.

One special constable was arrested on suspicion of rape – though he was not charged and police took no further action.

Figures show only one of the 11 employees was jailed.

This was a police constable who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for indecent assault.

Hampshire police say all 11 employees were either dismissed or resigned while under internal investigation.

The figures have been described as a “shock” by MP Royston Smith.

But the Southampton Itchen MP also praised the force for dealing with each case “quickly and appropriately”.

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He said: “It is of course a shock to discover police officers have been charged with crimes but they are people like the rest of society.

“It is a relief that in each instance they have been dealt with quickly and appropriately and that they are no longer serving police officers.”

The figures were released as part of an investigation by the Daily Echo’s parent company, Newsquest, who sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to 43 police forces across the country.

In total, 31 forces responded with figures, which showed a total of 913 officers and 272 staff members had been arrested across those areas between 2015 and 2018.

Among the arrests disclosed to and analysed by Newsquest’s Data Investigations Unit were more than 300 violent offences, 142 sex crimes (including 13 rapes) and at least 100 traffic offences, with several employees apprehended - and 43 banned from the roads - after being caught drink or drug driving.

Hampshire Police initially refused Newsquest's FOI request on cost grounds.

But the force later released the figures, which they say do not include Hampshire Police employees arrested in other areas of the country.

Detective Superintendent Nigel Lecointe, from Hampshire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department, said: “Hampshire Constabulary expects the highest standards from its officers and staff and will take action against those who commit criminal offences or breach the standards of professional behaviour.”

One figure not included in the statistics was that of ex-Hampshire Police officer PC Keith Burgess, who was jailed for 30 months in 2017 after he was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in public office in connection with “inappropriate” behaviour towards two teenage girls.

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The case involved “sexualised” messages and actions towards two girls, in 2014 and 2015, while the 44-year-old was working as a neighbourhood officer in Southampton.

Burgess was cleared of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old.