Dozens of police facing criminal charges

Dozens of police in Victoria are facing criminal charges including sexual assault and intentionally causing injury.

A total of 78 officers and public transport police, known as Protective Services Officers, were facing charges for criminal or traffic offences as of April 16, 2024.

Data released by the force revealed 68 police and five public transport police are facing criminal charges while five officers are charged with traffic offences.

Sexual assault, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault were the most common charges.

They relate to alleged incidents that happened while officers were either working or off duty.

The group includes 26 leading senior constables, 20 senior constables, 14 sergeants, seven first constables, five senior sergeants and one ranked inspector or above.

They are waiting for a court hearing or for their case to be finalised, which can take years.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said the force would not be deterred from investigating complaints against officers regardless of their rank, position or tenure.

"No one in Victoria Police is above the law," the spokesperson said.

"The authority and responsibility entrusted in police means they should be rightly held to a higher standard than the rest of the community both on and off duty."

The spokesperson said some officers facing charges resign before their case gets to court. Disciplinary action can only start once cases are finalised, which includes dismissal, fines, a pay cut or inability to be promoted.

Of the 78 members currently facing charges, 15 have been suspended with pay, 16 transferred to other duties and 13 suspended without pay.

The remaining 34 have no interim action against them.

Some 17,900 people work as police or public transport police.