Seven women have accused Devon and Cornwall Police of failing to properly investigate allegations of domestic abuse and sexual violence against serving and former officers. The women claim that some of the accused men were even promoted to roles dealing with violence against women, despite the force being aware of the complaints. The allegations, which span from the late 1990s to the present day, have been referred to the police watchdog as the women prepare for legal action.
The Centre for Women’s Justice, representing the women, accuses the force of systemic misogyny and alleges that in some cases, police investigators had connections with the accused officers. One woman, a former officer, claims she was physically assaulted by her ex-partner, also an officer, and that the police dismissed her claims due to their relationship with her attacker.
Another woman, a serving officer, alleges her ex-partner subjected her to physical abuse and coercive control throughout their relationship. Despite reporting him multiple times since 2017, he has since been promoted to a role in a unit dealing with violence against women and girls.
The Centre for Women’s Justice claims that the force violated the women’s human rights by not taking their complaints seriously and failing to conduct proper investigations. Assistant Chief Constable Jim Pearce said that the force has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following receipt of the information.