MORE than 1,000 allegations of corruption, sexual misconduct and other matters were made against police officers in Cumbria in the last year.

A total of 1,306 allegations of various types were made against Cumbria Police in 2020/21 and 912 complaints were logged by the force.

Most allegations related to the force's 'delivery of duties and service' and 'police powers, policies and procedures'.

Some 199 allegations related to the individual behaviour of police officer were made.

Six related to allegations of corruption and one related to sexual misconduct.

Cumbria Police said many of the complaints may have come from its 'robust' enforcing of coronavirus regulations, with visitors travelling to the county illegally during lockdowns.

Nationally, the most common action resulting from complaints handled informally was an explanation.

Some 41 per cent of complaint cases finalised resulted in an explanation being given to the complainant and 31 per cent of complaint cases finalised informally had at least one allegation resulting in no further action.

A force spokeswoman said: "The time period covered by the report covers one of the most turbulent and challenging for in recent history – not least for policing.

"Officers were charged with policing health protection regulations put in place at the height of the pandemic, to help save lives.

"Cumbria Constabulary, as a relatively small police force covering some of the country’s most attractive tourist destinations, was regularly reported to be one of the forces which issued amongst the most Fixed Penalty Notices to those people who had breached health protection regulations.

"The Constabulary made no apologies for its robust enforcement of health protection regulations. However, it is inevitable that a proportion of those people who were adjudged to have breached the regulations – regulations which were unprecedented in the restrictions placed on people – were unhappy with the police response, which has contributed to an increase in complaint reports.

"Following the lifting of regulations, the county saw record numbers of people travel here over the summer, as people visited The Lakes and other tourist areas instead of holidaying abroad. A natural result of more people is more interactions with the police.

"The Constabulary can assure the public that all complaints are taken seriously, and the circumstances investigated robustly."

Police said an independent Ethics Panel meets on a quarterly keeps regular oversight of complaints received and scrutinises the actions of officers and the way complaints are handled.

The forced added that it 'holds its officers and staff to a high standard of integrity and professionalism and, where an individual is found to have fallen short of those standards, action is taken'.