Dozens of West Midlands police officers were kept on the force despite misconduct hearings over allegations of sexual offences, driving over the limit and domestic abuse.
A total of 56 officers have had misconduct hearings for alleged criminal offences since 1998 ranging from racist assault and supply of drugs to wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.
Of those, 23 were dismissed or ordered to quit, and a further nine resigned before any hearing was held. A total of 32 emerged with fines, reprimands and demotions.
Misconduct hearings are only held after an investigation has been conducted into the incident and wrongdoing has to some extent been proved.
The most common allegation against West Midlands Police officers was assault, with 15 officers undergoing misconduct hearings for assault allegations and a further nine resigning before any hearing was held. Following the hearings two were sacked and two were ordered to quit. A further eight were formally reprimanded and three were fined.
Two West Midlands Police officers faced misconduct hearings for sexual offences; one quit before his hearing while the other was reduced in rank. Two officers lost their jobs after allegations of racist abuse and damaged property - one quit before the hearing and one was told to resign. One officer faced allegations of wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, and quit before his misconduct hearing.
Thirteen officers have been ordered to resign for drink driving, one left the force of his or her own accord and five escaped with fines, reprimands and one reduction in rank.
Eight were accused of fraud and theft, four resigned before the hearing, one was dismissed, two were required to resign and one was reprimanded, as a result of hearings.
About 2,000 complaints a year are made about West Midlands police officers, resulting in 25-30 misconduct hearings a year.
It is not known how many of those officers who faced or underwent misconduct hearings had received criminal convictions by a court.
Detective Superintendent Piers Westlake, from the Professional Standards department, said after an investigation the allegations were sometimes changed or reduced from the initial claim. Under the direction of the Deputy Chief Constable, his department initially ascertained the substance of the allegations and the likely outcome of the hearing, before deciding on the action appropriate.
"If the likely outcome of the hearing is that it is only going to tell them off I can arrange for a warning to be administered by local management. There is no point in the officer waiting six months for it."
He added that those penalties tended to be learning issues; where there was a 'flawed judgement call' for example.
When allegations of criminal offences were investigated they were passed to the CPS if there was enough evidence, and any court hearing went ahead before the misconduct hearing.
Misconduct hearings with full powers, where an officer was likely to lose his job, were held with lawyers present, he said.
"Certain crimes are incompatible with being a police officer - such as assault and drink driving, so the implications for their job might be more severe than in other professions," he said.
Last month Coventry-based police officer Pc Colin Hester was found guilty in court of blackmail.
He was part of a plot to extort and torture a businessman called Thomas Scragg. His part involved collecting £72,000 ransom money from the victim's business partner outside Little Park Street police station, the division where he was based.