SDLP Policing Board member Mark H Durkan has said the PSNI must have a zero-tolerance policy for abusers within their own ranks.
He was speaking after Met Police officer David Carrick admitted to numerous offences against women, with concerns being raised over a number of years.
All UK police services have been asked to review staff following the incident, with the PSNI confirming nine officers had been sacked last year for misconduct involving a “sexual or domestic element”.
Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:
“Given the shocking revelations surrounding David Carrick and the way he was able to abuse his position and the power it gave him to target women for over two decades, it’s important that the PSNI recommit itself to tackling abusers within its own ranks to send a clear message that the highest possible standards are expected of our police service to retain public confidence in them.
“Following the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, police services across this island have rightly re-evaluated their officers and standards to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. It is deeply concerning that over 30 police officers are currently suspended on suspicion of sexual misconduct with over 70 investigations ongoing and nine officers sacked in the past year. This suggests the PSNI isn’t immune to the problems being experienced in other police services and they must take adequate steps to combat this issue.
“The vast majority of police officers are ordinary people doing their best to serve their community, but if we are going to make progress we have to acknowledge that some people are attracted to the role because of the power and position it brings. I welcome the PSNI’s ongoing commitment to rooting out abusers and will continue to hold their leadership account and ensure that lessons are learned from recent cases involving misconduct of PSNI officers and those in other police services.”