MORE than 1,000 police officers and staff across the UK have been arrested since 2015, an investigation has found – but West Mercia Police refused to disclose any details.

According to figures from 30 forces, the equivalent of at least six police employees a week have been arrested for crimes including rape, stalking, death by dangerous driving, GBH and burglary.

A Freedom of Information request was received by West Mercia Police on April 23 asking for the number of its officers arrested over the last four years, as well as information including outcomes of any criminal investigations.

But David Cole, supervisor in the constabulary’s Information Compliance Unit, said the force was was “not obliged to provide the information request”.

He said the Freedom of Information Act states that if the cost of complying is estimated to “exceed the appropriate limit” – which is £450 or 18 hours of work – it makes the authority exempt.

“The information you have requested is not available in a readily retrievable format,” he continued. “Unfortunately, due to the volume of records that would need to be reviewed I am unable to identify information that could be supplied within the fees limit.

“Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is as accurate as possible.”

Another 13 forces did not respond or refused to disclose details.

The investigation found the 1,175 arrests led to 368 convictions or alternative actions being taken against the individual.

48 force employees – representing four per cent of those arrested – were imprisoned for a total of 56 years, though at least 68 people were found not guilty or acquitted at court.

Gary Jones, a serving West Mercia Police officer who worked at Worcester and Malvern, wept as he was acquitted of three counts of rape at Worcester Crown Court in June last year.

Craig Guildford, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for professional standards, said: “The numbers presented demonstrate how the service has continued to pursue a tiny minority who conduct themselves in a way which grossly undermines public trust and confidence in policing.”

Phil Matthews, conduct lead for the Police Federation, said: “Cops are very good at weeding out people who are not supposed to be there. None of us want corrupt people within the police who give the service a bad name.”