SEVEN serving Dorset Police officers hold criminal convictions.

Figures revealed by an FOI request show that four police constables and three sergeants currently serving in the force have been in the courts for criminal offences.

The crimes committed by officers include two cases of public order offences, one of burglary and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one of theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one of theft by finding, one of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and one of unauthorised taking of a vehicle/cycle.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “The majority of these officers received their criminal records before joining Dorset Police and the cases would have been assessed based on how long ago the offences were committed and the type of offence or caution.

“We would like to reassure the public that officers will not be recruited if it is believed their previous background would put the public at risk in any way or there was concern over their suitability to be an officer.”

Meanwhile, two officers, a police constable and a police community support officer, who were both convicted of harassment without violence while serving in Dorset Police are no longer part of the force.

The PC was jailed for five months in March 2018 and dismissed without notice, while the PSCO was given an adult caution in February last year and resigned from Dorset Police.

“The force expects the highest standards of conduct from its officers and staff at all times,” the force spokesperson added. “Where wrongdoing is alleged, officers and staff are appropriately investigated by the Force’s professional standards department.

“Any police officer who commits a criminal offence also breaches the expected standards of professional behaviour and, after a full investigation, a decision would normally be made by a disciplinary panel.

“Each case is judged on its merit and a wide range of factors will be considered before action is taken. For example, where a minor offence is committed, it needs to be laid against the years of dedicated service by the officer to determine if it is more damaging to the community if an officer is not allowed to continue to serve.

“Dorset Police is committed to enhancing public confidence and this is always a contributory factor in dealing with these matters.”