750 claims were made against serving police officers nationwide across the same period Sebastian Ballard/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Ten claims of sexual assault were made against Cambridgeshire Police officers between 2016 and 2020, an FoI request has revealed.

Fifteen officers- nine male, four female, and two of an unknown gender- were accused of the crime across the five year period.

The FoI request asked forces in England, Wales, and Scotland the number of complaints of sexual assault made against serving police officers in the four years leading up to 2020.

The Guardian reported last week that at least 750 accusations of sexual assault were made against police officers in the UK during this time, based on data from 31 forces. In most of the cases, the accusations were made against men.

It is unclear whether or not the officers were on duty at the time the alleged offenses were committed.

Of the 750 accusations made, 34 officers were dismissed from their roles. 7 officers were recorded as having resigned or been dismissed, and 6 officers would’ve lost their jobs had they not resigned first. One officer is recorded to have quit their job before a misconduct hearing, and one officer was recorded to have died.

The revelations from the FoI has come at a time in which many women are questioning their trust in the police, after findings have come to light about the way in which Sarah Everard was abducted by Met police officer Wayne Couzens. Couzens carried out a fake arrest on Sarah, before he raped and killed her. Many people have pointed out that this mistrust is nothing new for Black and Brown people.

Amidst growing public pressure to tackle misogyny within the police, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced last week that an independent inquiry will be launched to examine the “institutional failures” which led to Sarah Everard’s death.

A separate inquiry will be carried out into the Metropolitan Police.

The government announced last week that half a million pounds was given to Cambridgeshire Police to tackle violence against women and girls.

Including groups such as Rape Crisis, Refuge and Women’s Aid, the End Violence Against Women Coalition stated that when officers commit such crimes as sexual assault, they rarely face “any meaningful consequences”.

“We need to see a radical overhaul of how the police respond to violence against women – especially within their own ranks”, said Denzi Ugur, Deputy director of the coalition.

“This means greater accountability and urgent, co-ordinated and strategic action to address violence against women.

They continued: “Ultimately, we need to address these widespread institutional failings before we can even begin to address women’s confidence in the police.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “As the public would rightly expect, we take police integrity very seriously and have already taken steps to overhaul the police complaints and discipline systems in order to increase transparency and accountability.”

In response to the ten accusations of sexual assault made against several of its serving officers, chief constable Nick Dean said “Cambridgeshire Constabulary require the highest levels of integrity from our officers and staff and when someone fails to meet this standard we take the appropriate action.

“If claims are made against our officers a thorough investigation will be carried out by an independent force irrespective of who the offender is.

“The Professional Standards Department (PSD) prioritise sexual offence allegations against police officers.

“PSD, working in conjunction with the IOPC, investigate officers where officer conduct has or is likely to have breached the standards of professional behaviour.”

Varsity has contacted the Cambridge SU Women’s Officer for comment.