80 officers guarding elite in misconduct rap

Police officers guard Downing Street. New figures have revealed that 80 officers charged with guarding the Queen, the Prime Minister and top politicians have been charged with misconduct. Picture: AP

Police officers guard Downing Street. New figures have revealed that 80 officers charged with guarding the Queen, the Prime Minister and top politicians have been charged with misconduct. Picture: AP

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EIGHTY police officers responsible for guarding royals, the Prime Minister and senior politicians have been punished for misconduct in the last five years.

The new figures, obtained from the Metropolitan Police through a Freedom of Information request by the Guardian, show 54 officers and six staff from the SO6 diplomatic protection squad have been disciplined since 2010.

Also 12 officers and staff from the royal protection unit, SO14, and eight from SO1, which guards David Cameron and ministers, were reprimanded during the same period.

The paper reported the offences ranged from failure in duty to assault and traffic irregularities and resulted mainly in written warnings, with dismissals in a handful of cases.

A spokesman for the Met said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is here to serve the public and the vast majority of its officers and staff provide a highly-skilled service with the utmost honesty and integrity.

“The MPS expects a high level of conduct and behaviour from its officers and staff. Where anyone falls short of these standards it’s important that they must be held to account.”

There have been several high profile instances of misconduct by officers in specialist protection squads, and the figures come after the infamous Plebgate row between senior conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and Met officers in 2012.

In December, two police officers from Scotland Yard’s Diplomatic Protection Group were sacked for sending obscene images from their mobile phones and in October a royal protection officer was arrested following the discovery of ammunition in personal lockers in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

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