There is an interesting story in the Guardian today that is unlikely to gain legs unless it gets a lift from the bloggersphere.* It seems many of the UK’s police forces are refusing to dismiss there officers if they are convicted of drink driving. Despite Home Office guidelines that say they should be sacked due to the seriousness of this offense.
According to the Guardian who made a series of requests for the information under the Freedom of Information Act, there are wide differences in the manner in which the United Kingdom’s police forces deal with officers convicted of drink-driving, or related offenses such as failing to provide a breath or blood specimen.
Some, such as Nottinghamshire, Thames Valley and Essex, demand the resignation of every officer convicted of the offense if they do not volunteer their resignations, while others, such as West Midlands, demand the resignation of the overwhelming majority of those caught drink-driving.
The two worst offenders for taking no action against their officers who are convicted of these offenses are Northumbria Police and the Police Service of Northern Ireland in which the majority of officers convicted of the offense have been allowed to continue serving or to retire early on full pension. One wonders just how much has changed within the north of Ireland police, beyond changing its name from the RUC to PSNI.
So the next time a police care speeds past you with its blue lights flashing, give it a wide berth as its driver may have a conviction for drunk driving.