Twenty-six people who work for Avon and Somerset Police have been arrested in the last four years.

Fifteen officers and 11 police staff have been arrested in the last four years, which totals 0.6 per cent of their workforce.

The average of the 30 police forces to provide data was around one per cent during the same period.

For Avon and Somerset 10 of the arrests led to criminal action, while six were dismissed and three retired/resigned.

Crimes committed by officers include drink-driving, assault, harassment and misconduct in public office.

In 2017 a constable resigned after being found guilty of sex offences relating to extreme pornography.

Nationally, at least 1,181 employees of 30 police forces were arrested between 2015 and May 2019 – the equivalent of six a week.

Forty-eight force employees, representing four per cent of those arrested, were imprisoned for a total of more than 56 years over offences including rape, stalking, death by dangerous driving and burglary.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We take integrity within policing very seriously and the vast majority of police officers and staff fulfil their duties to a very high standard.

“Where officers fall short of these standards, the public rightly expects those officers to be investigated – particularly where a crime may have been committed.

“The Government is continuing to deliver wide-reaching reforms which overhaul the police discipline system."

A spokesman for the Independent Office of Police Conduct said: “Police officers have a really difficult job. Most officers work with the utmost integrity and make tough decisions in trying circumstances.

"However, when things go wrong or police abuse their position, the public rightly expect scrutiny and accountability – they need to be confident professional standards are upheld.

“Police forces deal with the majority of complaints against police officers and police staff and are responsible for determining what action is taken against officers when there is misconduct, corruption or criminal activity.

“Our role is to oversee the police complaints system and investigate the most serious incidents and complaints involving the police.

"We remain committed to rooting out a small minority of officers and staff who deliberately break the law or otherwise fail to protect the people they serve."