PUBLIC confidence in officers and staff ‘is of the upmost importance’, Thames Valley Police have said.

The force was responding to figures which revealed that almost 100 of its staff had allegations of sexual offences made against them.

A spokesperson for the force said: “Thames Valley Police is determined to work tirelessly to protect the communities of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

“However, we understand the effect of recent events on trust in policing. Public confidence in our officers and staff is of the utmost importance to us and we take all complaints extremely seriously.

“We have robust processes in place to identify and investigate when standards have fallen below our expectations.

“Between 2016-17 and 2020-21, 91 complaints were made against 99 officers and staff for sexual assault, abuse of position for sexual purpose and other sexual conduct. Of these, disciplinary action was taken in 19 of these cases, 59 were investigated with no disciplinary action resulting and investigations into eight of the cases are still ongoing.”

Each reported offence is investigated by the force’s Professional Standards Department.

The force said disciplinary action is taken where it is required – if officers or staff are dismissed, they will be placed on a national barred list that will prevent them from joining ever again.

The spokesperson added: “Communities in the Thames Valley should feel reassured that we hold all our officers and staff to the highest possible standards at all times.”