"Over recent years, the UK police service has been determined to restore public trust in it. This has been alongside heightened scrutiny and headline after headline reminding us why it must remain our priority.
"When serial rapist David Carrick’s offending became known, I shared how angry I was. Angry that a sexual predator could remain in policing so long, enabled by weak processes and lack of rigour in vetting and information sharing. At the time I supported the Home Secretary’s announcement that all forces in England and Wales would conduct Police National Database (PND) checks on all employees to see whether police officers, police staff and volunteers had come to police attention whilst employed. The fact that this could previously have happened was an inexcusable gap in our knowledge which damaged the confidence everyday citizens placed in us. But it was within our gift to address.
"Today, the National Police Chiefs’ Council released the results of the national data wash for all Forces. I encourage you to view the findings. I am grateful for the work that Chief Constable Serena Kennedy KPM has led in this area, on behalf of the police service.
"As a Force that #DoTheRightThing, BTP was very much on the front foot in this exercise. We began the task of running every one of our employees through PNC and PND to identify any information that could present a risk. We reviewed our results in September.
"The task was significant, but as I expected, it confirmed that the vast majority of our people joined policing for the right reasons: to protect the public and care for the most vulnerable, and that they had continued to take this responsibility seriously.
PND identified 4,688 ‘hits’. My Professional Standards team meticulously reviewed every detail: 306 entries were cross-referenced with vetting to confirm known or declared information, five cases went for misconduct assessment, and one resulted in a gross misconduct investigation, which is ongoing. This is the equivalent of checking almost a quarter of the people attending an event at Wembley O2 Arena, leading to one ongoing investigation.
"This outcome, coupled with our recent £2m investment in our Professional Standards Department, should reassure us all about the quality of our vetting and counter corruption processes. I am confident that they are robust and effective, successfully keeping those unfit for service out of BTP. However, will we continue to tighten our processes and learn from others.
"Policing has a steep hill to climb to regain public trust but I believe that today’s news is reassuring for the public, and will be welcomed by policing. I can think of no other institution that has undertaken such a significant and transparent exercise to rebuild confidence.
"But let me be clear: there is no room for complacency. We must continue our efforts to weed out those who cause harm and tarnish the institution we all care about. The UK model of policing is fundamentally based on consent and to preserve that we need to be trusted by the public. Nobody wants bad people in policing, especially those they work alongside.
"Policing is a challenging career at the best times. Having spent 32 years of my life dedicated to serving and protecting the public, I also believe it is hugely rewarding. Today, the NPCC findings show that we are working hard to restore confidence and that starts by finding, keeping and showcasing the good people who live and breathe our Values every day."