South Yorkshire Police: FOI request reveals extent of sexual harassment within police force
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A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by The Star has revealed two of the incidents resulted in the subjects of the complaints leaving the force. Two of the cases resulted in the subject being found to have “no case to answer”.
As part of the FOI response from South Yorkshire Police, it was said: “In 2022 South Yorkshire Police implemented a Sexual Harassment Policy in line with recommendations from NPCC and these are the cases that have been identified by [the Professional Standards Department]”.
The subject of one of these cases was found to have a “case to answer”, but the FOI response stated this resulted in only “management action”. There is no indication the subject left the force as a result of the allegation.
Regarding the new figures, Detective Chief Inspector James Horsfield from the PSD said: “We are committed to maintaining the highest integrity and professionalism among our officers and staff and will take swift and robust action against anyone whose behaviours are found to fall below the high standards rightly expected in policing.
"We’ve taken a number of proactive steps to ensure our workforce feels they’re in a safe and supportive environment to share their experiences in relation to sexual harassment in the workplace. We continually seek feedback and have implemented new ways to make a confidential report as part of our efforts to root out those displaying such unacceptable behaviours.
“We take any reports incredibly seriously and they are thoroughly investigated. Sexual harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated and we continue to encourage any staff members or officers to come forward in relation to such matters.”
One of the incidents resulting in the staff member leaving the force appears to have followed a lengthy investigation process. Following the reception of the complaint, a hearing ruled the individual had committed “gross misconduct”. They then resigned from the force, which South Yorkshire Police said was “prior to dismissal outcome”.
In the other incident, the individual was subject to an “accelerated hearing” before being dismissed by the force.