Northumbria force rapped about failings over rapist policeman

Jailed ex-policeman Stephen Mitchell
Jailed ex-policeman Stephen Mitchell
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OFFICERS involved in the Stephen Mitchell rapist cop scandal have been “given advice” about their “failings”.

Earlier this month the 42-year-old predatory sex pest was given two life sentences for sexually assaulting seven women, including one from Sunderland who he prevented from breaking her drug habit so he could manipulate and rape her.

After the trial, senior officers apologised for “some failings” during the recruitment and earlier investigation into Mitchell’s behaviour.

The Glasgow-born divorced dad had been able join Northumbria Police after hiding the fact that he had stood trial for sexual offences against soldiers in Scotland.

In 2005, Mitchell’s ex-wife Julie Vacher warned senior detectives about his bullying and criminal behaviour and also told them about the trial, but they reportedly claimed they could find no record of the case.

Mitchell admitted using the force computer to find out information about Mrs Vacher and her new partner. The 42-year-old was also disciplined for having sex with a woman shortly after she was arrested.

But senior officers allowed him to continue working at Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street police station.

After being pressed for answers by North East politicians – following a rejected Freedom of Information request – Northumbria Police has confirmed there has been an internal investigation into the case.

“We acknowledge there were shortcomings,” a spokesman said.

“Those who were involved in the investigations and are still with Northumbria Police have received appropriate management action and advice.

“In terms of the individuals concerned, where there was evidence of shortcomings, and the individual is still with Northumbria Police, they have received appropriate management action and advice.

“None have faced misconduct as it wasn’t proportionate, but all have had their failings identified to them and given advice on how these failings could have been avoided.

“We have taken action to try to ensure this never happens again.

“Working in conjunction with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, we have reviewed many of our practices, and a number of pieces of work have been undertaken to improve systems and processes within the force.

“All these improvements have now been implemented.”