ALMOST 160 allegations of sexual assault were made against serving police officers in Greater Manchester over five years, according to figures.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there is "a massive job" to be done to restore women's confidence in police after the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens of London's Metropolitan Police.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show 158 sexual assault claims were made against Greater Manchester Police officers between 2016 and 2020 – an average of more than 30 claims a year.

Most of these allegations (130) were made against male officers, as opposed to 11 allegations against female officers and 17 allegations against officers whose sex was recorded as unknown.

And 139 of these claims were by members of the public, as opposed to 19 claims by colleagues.

It is not known if the officers were on-duty or off-duty at the time of the alleged sexual assaults.

Of the allegations where there was a case to answer, four led to dismissals, one before a hearing, and another four officers resigned before a hearing.

Additionally, two led to management action, one was described as 'locally resolved', and one saw no action.

Around 15 investigations were still ongoing at the time Greater Manchester Police provided the information.

Responding to the figures, Greater Manchester Police's Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods said: "Any abuse of position for sexual purpose is absolutely unacceptable. Greater Manchester Police is the second largest force in the country, and we will not stand for any behaviour which does not reflect the high level of professionalism and integrity we expect of our officers.

"We work proactively to identify offending and where reports are made we will take robust action, which can be seen in these figures.

"We encourage our officers, staff and the public to report any actions which breach our moral and professional standards, so we can stamp it out and preserve a force which predominantly comprises thousands of officers and staff who carry out their duties respectfully to protect the public and prevent crime."

DCC Woods stressed Greater Manchester Police is transparent about it hearings and their outcomes.

He added: "We will not shy away from demonstrating to the public that we are taking action against this behaviour. We know we have work to do to rebuild trust with the public, and by publicising any incidents whereby an officer has not performed to the level of professionalism we expect, we will continue show that this will not be tolerated."