Number of police ‘grounded’ pending criminal investigation rises 48% to 141

New figures show that 141 constables, sergeants and inspectors are currently on “restricted duties”, two out of five of them because they are suspected of data protection offences.

This is up 48 per cent from 97 a year ago as the new national force takes a stern line on those in its ranks suspected of criminality.

Three civilian members of staff and two special constables are also on restricted duties, according to papers submitted to the force’s civilian watchdog, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA).

Another 13 officers were suspended.

Three of the suspended officers were accused of rape, one of attempted rape.

Constables were also suspended while under investigation for domestic assault, assault, abduction and fire-raising aggravated by racism and homophobia; stalking; misuse of drugs; and offensive behaviour at football.

One officer was suspended pending a probe in to criminal neglect of duty and another for a charge of data protection offences; the latter was the only individual to be sent home for no other reason than data protection.

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