A POLICE officer who 'targeted vulnerable women' while on duty is among more than 11 coppers and police staff across Lancashire who have been arrested in recent years.

Sexual assault, violence, misconduct in a public office and traffic offences are among the crimes officers and staff members have been apprehended over since 2015, a Newsquest Investigation has found.

And according to the figures, six of those arrested were constables, two were sergeants, two were community support officers and one was a civilian member of staff.

In total, the force currently employs 4720 members of staff.

Those put behind bars included disgraced officer Ihsan Ali, who was jailed for two years in 2018 after being found guilty of kissing and groping vulnerable domestic abuse victims that he had met while on duty.

A jury at Preston Crown Court were told how Ali, of Cotman Close, Bacup, initially went to the homes of his four female victims to legitimately investigate complaints they had made about being the victim of a crime. But in each case Ali gave the complainants his personal mobile phone number and began sending them inappropriate texts with the intention of developing ‘emotional or sexual relationships’.

In another case, policeman Jayson Lobo was jailed for three years after being found guilty of a string of voyeurism offences.

The 48-year-old from Mellor had been engaging in sexual activities with several women and had filmed them on his phone without their consent or knowledge.

Det Supt Mark Winstanley, Head of Lancashire Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “Lancashire Constabulary expects the highest standards of professionalism and integrity from all our staff. The vast majority of our staff adhere to these standards and take great pride in delivering a first-class policing service every day.”

On a national scale, the investigation has revealed that the equivalent of at least six force employees a week have been arrested since 2015.

Around a third of those arrested faced further sanctions within the criminal justice system, with punishments ranging from cautions to lengthy prison sentences.

CC Craig Guildford, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Professional Standards, said:

“The vast majority of police officers and staff fulfil their duties in serving the public to the highest standard. Society rightly expects the police service to act with honesty and integrity and any instance of conduct falling below that standard, or when a crime has been committed, will be dealt with directly based upon the evidence presented as nobody is above the law.

“The numbers presented demonstrate how the service has continued to pursue a tiny minority who conduct themselves in a way which grossly undermines public trust and confidence in policing.

“For some years now the police service has been leading and driving change to improve the accountability of disciplinary procedures and to build on community confidence in the police, including barring individuals from re-joining the service."