SEXUAL misconduct is “widespread” within Police Scotland and other forces in the UK, according to an investigation carried out for a television documentary to be shown tonight.

Channel Four’s Dispatches reveals in the past four years the service had 166 police officers and special constables accused of 245 counts of sexual misconduct. No officers were dismissed as a result.

The film comes in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard in London by serving police officer Wayne Couzens, who colleagues had nicknamed “the rapist”.

It also investigates cases of domestic abuse perpetrated by police officers and speaks to one woman Annie who faced years of domestic abuse at the hands of PC Fraser Ross, who served in Police Scotland.

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In July this year, PC Ross was convicted of four counts of assault. He avoided prison and was sentenced to three years community payback, 250 hours unpaid work and a six-year non-harassment order. He resigned a week before his sentence and kept his pension.

Recounting the abuse she faced, Annie said: “I had bruising that would be round my wrists all up my arms, my ribs, he headbutted me. I had some kind of concussion, one of the occasions. He would say, ‘I would love to kill you’.”

The figures come as part of a wider investigation into police sexual misconduct across the UK.

Dispatches lodged Freedom of Information requests with police forces across the UK and information was returned by 39 forces. It revealed that almost 2000 officers, special constables and Police Community Support Officers were accused of some form of sexual misconduct over the past four years. This includes:

• More than 370 accusations of sexual assault

• Nearly 100 accusations of rape

• 18 accusations of child sex offences

• Only 8% of allegations led to a dismissal

• Even in upheld cases of sexual misconduct, dismissals are less than one third

• Nearly two thirds of allegations led to no action

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “Police Scotland demands the highest levels of integrity from our officers and staff and when someone fails to meet this standard we take the appropriate action. We have no ability under current conduct regulations to prevent an officer from resigning.

“All sexual crime is absolutely abhorrent and our officers will carry out a thorough investigation into any complaint, irrespective of who the offender is.

“At the conclusion of any legal proceedings, further action will be considered by our Professional Standards Department.”

On the culture inside the force, she said: “Sexism, misogyny and discrimination of any kind are deplorable and unacceptable. They have no place in society and no place in policing.

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“Dame Elish Angiolini’s independent review of complaint handling, misconduct and investigations underlined the range and depth of challenges for policing, those who scrutinise policing, and the public we serve, with many recommendations requiring significant collaboration and co-operation.”

On Ross, a Police Scotland spokesman said: “Fraser Ross’s conduct fell far below the high standards of professional behaviour that the public rightly expects from policing and which the vast majority of officers and staff demonstrate every day.

“Police Scotland has no ability under current conduct regulations to prevent an officer from resigning.

“Had Fraser Ross remained a serving officer, his actions would have been considered for gross misconduct proceedings at the conclusion of the criminal matters.”