05:19 GMT30 March 2020
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    Data from the Mayor of London's Office for Policing and Crime suggests that between 2012 and 2017 the number of officers accused of sexual assault increased by 65 percent each year.

    The Metropolitan Police has revealed that between 1 January 2012 and 2 June 2018 only 31 out of 562 officers who had been accused of sexual assault faced any proceedings.

    The figures, obtained after a request under the Freedom of Information Act by The Independent, show allegations in 313 cases were made by members of the public while the other 249 were from other police officers.

    In 33 cases the accused officers retired or resigned.

    In only one case an officer underwent a formal investigation and was stripped of their pension.

    ​There were also three times more reports of sexual misconduct and gender-based discrimination in 2017 than in 2012.

    The rise is believed, in part, to have been fueled by the #MeToo movement and the increasing assertiveness of female victims in the light of accusations about high profile figures like film producer Harvey Weinstein.

    "How can women, who are the victims of most sexual assaults, feel safe seeking protection or justice from a police force with such terrible levels of complaints against its own officers and how can we be sure complaints are being taken seriously when it appears little is being done to address the issue internally and formal disciplinaries are so rare?" Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, told The Independent.

    In November 2018 PC Adam Provan was jailed for nine years for raping a 16-year-old girl.

    "PC Provan abused his position to win the trust of his victim and deliberately deceived her, she felt reassured he was a police officer and had no idea of the large age gap between them. This assault was brazen and calculated, with clear indication he had planned it beforehand," Detective Sergeant Sian Thomas of the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said after he was jailed.

    ​In the same month Sergeant Kyle Blood was fired by the Met after an incident involving a sleeping woman on a train.

    Sgt Blood, who was drunk, was acquitted of sexually assaulting the woman after a trial at Luton Crown Court but he admitted gross misconduct.

    "Police officers do a difficult frontline job, but have to be held to the highest of standards of conduct at all times. Sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination are all against the law and every police authority should have in place robust and fair ways to consider the evidence and where necessary act without hesitation if there has been wrongdoing. It is not acceptable to ignore allegations," Maria Miller, chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee told The Independent.

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    police officers, sexual assault, rape, Metropolitan Police, London
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