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Police Sexual Misconduct Claims


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Sexual abuse by police officers

Sexual abuse by police officers

People, in particular women, should be able to turn to our police forces at any time knowing they will put their safety and security first, without fear.

Alarmingly, sexual abuse by officers is now the single biggest form of complaint dealt with by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) – the UK police watchdog.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, 39% of gross misconduct cases followed investigations of abuse driven by a sexual purpose, behaviour so serious it could warrant dismissal.

In a May 2022 report, the IOPC said it was ‘highly likely’ the scale of sexual misconduct within law enforcement ‘remains under-represented’, as not all victims report misconduct, with some fearing they won’t be believed, or not believing or understanding they have been exploited.

If you have been subjected to similar treatment by any police officer, you may have grounds to pursue a claim.


What is police sexual misconduct?

What is police sexual misconduct?

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) defines abuse of position for a sexual purpose as ‘any behaviour by a police officer or police staff member, whether on or off duty, that takes advantage of their position as a member of the police service to misuse their position, authority or powers in order to pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship with any member of the public.’

It states that a member of the public does not have to be vulnerable for the definition of abuse of position for a sexual purpose to be made out, however the vulnerability of the member of the public may be an aggravating factor.


Signs of inappropriate sexual behaviour by police officers

Signs of inappropriate sexual behaviour

A report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct in May 2022 said signs of inappropriate sexual behaviour by police officers include:

  • Giving a victim their personal contact details.
  • Contacting a victim via personal social media/apps.
  • Speaking to a victim privately/behind closed doors.
  • Instances of solo contact, with no other police present.
  • Being overly familiar.
  • Body language.
  • Taking a victim away in a vehicle.
  • Having reasons for making contact or visiting which seem thin.
  • Nurturing a dependence specific to them.

If you have been subjected to similar treatment by any Police Officer, you may have grounds to pursue a claim.

Please contact us in strict confidence for more information by calling the office and selecting option 5 for the actions against the police team, alternatively you can fill out a start my claim form for a callback.


How to make a police sexual misconduct claim

How to make a claim

Make a claim in five easy steps

Step 1

Free Initial Advice

Call us, request a callback or complete our online claim form and we will assess whether we think you have a claim.

Start my claim

Step 2


We will help you to decide how best to fund your claim. Usually we will be able to offer you a No win, No fee agreement.

Step 3

Letter of Claim

We will send a letter to your opponent with details of your claim, setting out why we think they are at fault.

Step 4

Obtain Supporting Evidence & Expert Reports

We will request copies of any supporting documents for your claim and, if appropriate, instruct expert witnesses to provide an opinion in support of your case.

Step 5

Negotiate Settlement

We will review your opponent’s response to our letter of claim and update you on the merits of your claim and any valuation before making any settlement offers.

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Start your claim today

Feel free to give us a call or begin your claim online

Alternatively, call us now on 01482787771

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Examples of recent high-profile police sexual misconduct cases

Two recent horrific cases at the Metropolitan Police related to serving officers who committed the most heinous crimes, severely damaging public confidence in policing and highlighting alarming failings with regards to missed opportunities relating to predatory offending and preventing police misconduct. They were;

  • Wayne Couzens – In 2021 Wayne Couzens kidnapped 33-year-old Sarah Everard as she walked home in Clapham, South London, raping and murdering her. He had previously been linked to a number of incidents of a sexual nature, from which no police action taken, including flashing and having been reported to police for allegedly driving around naked from the waist down. Checks on his background were not done “correctly” when he moved from Kent Police to the Metropolitan Police in 2018.
  • PC David Carrick – In January 2023, PC David Carrick admitted committing 48 rapes over two decades as a serving officer at the Met, with the force admitting errors in failing to spot his escalating threat of danger, having been informed about nine incidents from 2000 to 2021. These included eight alleged attacks or clashes he had with women before the arrest that led to his convictions.

The Met subsequently announced that a total of 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence, involving 1,071 officers and other staff from the last 10 years, would be reviewed as a result of police malpractice.

An abuse complaints hotline was subsequently established and received 700 calls in a single day about alleged sexual and domestic violence committed by officers.

How can Hudgell Solicitors help with cases linked to police sexual misconduct?

Vicky Richardson, Head of Civil Liberties at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “Our legal team has supported people who have been exploited by serving police officers and who have engaged in inappropriate relationships with them.

“Sadly, in such cases it can often be the situation that victims do not want to make a complaint as they either fear they will not be believed, or in terms of the most vulnerable, they do not understand they have been exploited and abused.

“It is significant that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) says that abuse of position for sexual purpose has now become the most common form of corruption it deals with. This is not a matter limited to one force, despite the Met Police being the force in the headlines.”

“The sheer number of complaints being made about police gross misconduct for a sexual purpose which the police watchdog says may be much lower than the actual number of cases, is deeply concerning.”

“I am hopeful that the recent cases will encourage those that have suffered sexual abuse will come forward rather than deter victims who need help, support and protection.”

How do I make a claim for police sexual misconduct?

We understand that challenging the police and the state can be difficult. Hudgells has a number of experienced lawyers specialising in actions against the police who will assess your case and offer support and guidance at every stage of the process.

With a high success rate in securing justice for those affected by misconduct and abuse, we empower people to sue the police and challenge authorities whose actions have impacted their civil liberties and human rights.

Our team is dedicated to offering advice and support to anybody who feels they have been exploited in this way. It is often only by speaking to somebody completely independent, that a victim can understand the full extent of how they have been abused and their right to police misconduct compensation.

If you have been subjected to similar treatment by any police officer, you may have grounds to pursue a claim.

Please contact us in strict confidence for more information by calling the office and selecting option 5 for the actions against the police team, alternatively you can fill out a start my claim form for a callback.

What is being done to tackle police sexual misconduct and improve standards?

Following the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, the Angiolini Inquiry was launched in November 2021.

This two-part, independent non-statutory inquiry was established to examine the circumstances and decision-making relating to the vetting and re-vetting of Couzens, including whether any potential risks and/or red flags were missed, as well as the extent to which any issues relating to his behaviour, particularly in relation to women, were known and raised by colleagues.

Following the case of PC David Carrick, Home Secretary Suella Braverman confirmed the Angiolini Inquiry would be extended to cover the conduct of Carrick and the potential opportunities the Met, other police forces and organisations may have had to identify his pattern of behaviour and to stop him being a police officer and offending.

Having concluded the first part of the inquiry, the second part will now also consider the performance of other forces and examine whether policing systems, policies and processes for the recruitment, vetting and transfer of police officers are fit for purpose, and can help to identify those who display misogynistic and/or predatory attitudes and behaviours.

It is also set to investigate which aspects of police culture observed across police forces enable misogynistic and/or predatory attitudes and behaviours, and whether existing measures to prevent sexually motivated crimes against women in public spaces are adequate.

Is a Public Inquiry into police sexual misconduct now needed?

At Hudgell Solicitors, we believe that given the failings in these two recent cases, and the Met revealing it is now reviewing 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers and other staff from the last 10 years, a full statutory Public Inquiry is essential.

A Public Inquiry will bring with it the legal powers to secure vital disclosure of evidence and call witnesses to give evidence. Only with full public scrutiny of the Met’s performance will the true scale of failings be uncovered, changes made, and public confidence restored.

Hudgell Solicitors has represented core participants in several public inquiries, including The Manchester Arena Bombing, The Infected Blood Inquiry, Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the ongoing Horizon Post Office Scandal.

If you have been subjected to similar treatment by any Police Officer, you may have grounds to pursue a claim. Please contact us in full confidence for more information.

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The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) have now published the quarterly civil justice statistics covering July to September 2020. These latest stats show us that Civil Justice actions continue to remain below pre-Covid levels and in particular, County Court claims were down 47% on the same period in 2019 however this was driven by a 50% […]

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Police Sexual Misconduct

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