Violence, sexual offences and burglary were among a string of crimes police staff in Hertfordshire were arrested on suspicion of in recent years.

A Newsquest investigation found that 45 Hertfordshire Constabulary staff were apprehended between January 2015 and April 2019 - 27 of them were police officers.

Out of 30 police forces across the country, Hertfordshire had the fourth highest number of arrests of its own staff, including two Sergeants and one Inspector.

The investigation found 11 of these arrests were made due to suspected violence offences, while five were down to suspected sexual offences and one was made due to a suspected burglary offence.

Other offences force staff were arrested on suspicion of included theft and misconduct in public office.

And 44 per cent of those arrested received punishments, including jail time, suspended sentences, restraining orders, fines, cautions and fixed penalty notices.

Following the release of the figures, Hertfordshire Constabulary said it expects the “highest standards of professional behaviour, honesty and integrity amongst its officers and staff”.

A spokesperson added: “We will take action where these standards are breached.

“We have a number of means by which misconduct can be reported and proactively investigate officers and staff who are suspected.”

The figures also revealed that 12 of those arrested within the police force faced no further action from the cases disclosed and 14 were dismissed by the force.

Seven police staff had resigned following the outcome of any investigation against them, while two were handed final written warnings.

Nationally there were over 1,000 arrests of police staff - and around a third of those arrested were punished within the criminal justice system.

Of the 910 officers and 265 staff members that were hauled in by forces, at least 48 were imprisoned.

And at least 279 people were sacked, while 134 resigned or retired before disciplinary processes concluded.

Final warnings were handed out in connection with offences including rape, violence and drink-driving.

Phil Matthews, conduct lead for the Police Federation, said the figures reflected efforts by the police to weed out a minority of criminals in their ranks.

He said a culture of heightened scrutiny could have also contributed, adding: “We are a reflection of society so we will get one or two who are corrupt or attempting to get into the force to get some criminal gain from it.

“If someone working for the police is accused of something in a criminal case, they are much more likely to be charged and sent to court than a member of the public.

“That’s because, in my experience, we want to weed wrongdoing out and prove that we’re not trying to look after our own.

“There are one or two real bad people that get into policing for malicious endeavours deliberately and are there to subvert and I have no qualms at all about them going to prison.”

The number of police employees convicted of offences could be higher when considering 13 forces refused or did not respond to Newsquest’s Freedom of Information request.