Six percent of the officers in the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense police force were under investigation as of Sept. 30, according to statistics released concerning a recent public records request. Their suspected offenses ranged from speeding to domestic violence to drugs, and the sheer number of them -- 170 -- was a marked increase from the roughly 50 internal cases handled two years ago, the Guardian reported.
The Ministry of Defense Police was created in 1987 to protect the country's assets, information and estate, according to its website. This includes the "secure and uninterrupted operation of the UK nuclear deterrent." It has about 2,600 officers, most of whom are armed.
But nearly 90 officers were being investigated for neglect of duties -- the most common reason for a disciplinary probe, according to MDP documents. More than 40 were being analyzed for general-conduct violations, and 17 for speeding. The rest of the offenses were myriad, with single digits of officers being investigated for aggression, drugs and alcohol, harassment and bullying, social media infractions, discrimination, sexual/indecency and fraudulent claims.
"The chief constable expects all of his officers and staff to behave with the highest levels of professionalism and integrity; where they fall short of these high standards the MDP will respond to any individual and collective failure accordingly," a spokesman told the Guardian.
Although the number of probes was high, the number of officers actually being dismissed remained low. In the 2012-13 year, four people were let go. In 2013-14, only two were. Their crimes included neglect of duties, alcohol-related charges, making fraudulent claims, and harassment and bullying.
In 2013, seven officers resigned and 50 were investigated when they were reportedly missing security patrols and napping on duty at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Burghfield, according to the Mirror.
A similar investigation began this past May when naval officer William McNeilly blew the whistle on security breaches within the UK's Trident nuclear program. McNeilly alleged that staff didn't check bags, muted missile safety alarms and covered up failed launch tests. He called it a "disaster waiting to happen," the Independent reported.