Accused police 'quietly resigning'
Hundreds of police officers facing misconduct proceedings are escaping punishment by quitting their forces, an investigation has shown.
At least 489 accused officers among 47 UK forces were allowed to quietly resign over two years, Freedom of Information (FoI) requests by the BBC Panorama programme found.
There were 1,915 guilty findings against officers for misconduct over the same period, between 2008 and 2010, the programme said.
Campaigners called for stronger accountability among forces.
Lawyer Jocelyn Cockburn, who specialises in cases involving complaints against police, warned of the risks of letting officers leave through the back door.
"If they are allowed to leave the police without any stain on their character then there is the chance they will go and work in another force, and that does happen," she said.
One fifth of officers who were given punishments were dismissed or required to resign, the programme found.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Peter Fahy, speaking for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said police resignations in the face of misconduct allegations can be in the public interest.
He told the programme: "There is a judgment about, do you want to wait for a long drawn out disciplinary procedure, which you know is likely to end in the officer losing their job, or if that officer is willing to resign, is it not in the public interest again, to get them off the payroll and to avoid the cost and expense of a hearing?"