Suspended staff wasting 460 police days a year in Barking and Dagenham

The �10m police base at Fresh Wharf

The �10m police base at Fresh Wharf - Credit: Archant

More than 460 police working days a year are lost to suspended members of staff in Barking and Dagenham.

Nine suspended officers and staff members – three times as many as neighbouring Havering – contributed to 1,383 wasted days between 2012 and 2014.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that one volunteer officer, who is part of the Metropolitan Special Constabulary, was suspended for 414 days from 2012 – 13-and-a-half months.

And a pair of special constables were suspended for a combined total of 115 days last year.

Metropolitan Police guidelines state that “the decision to suspend a police officer will only be taken when there is an allegation of gross misconduct”.

Although Redbridge also suspended nine members of staff during the same two-year period, the number of wasted days in Barking and Dagenham was far greater – 525 days, equivalent to about 17 months more.

A spokeswoman for the Met Police said: “Suspension will only be considered in cases where the seriousness of the allegation would make restricted duties or an alternative posting unsuitable.

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“It is of note that Barking and Dagenham borough employs over 500 police officers and members of police staff. The number of our staff that are suspended accordingly represents a very small percentage of those employees.

“All Metropolitan Police Service employees are expected to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times.

“Any instance where the conduct of our staff is alleged to have fallen below the standards of behaviour expected is treated extremely seriously by the MPS.”