Former police chief: I was twice indecently assaulted by senior male officers

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Julie Etchingham


A former police chief constable has told ITV she was indecently assaulted twice by senior policemen while she was a younger officer.

Former Nottinghamshire Police chief constable Sue Fish - who pioneered the UK's first misogyny legislation while in charge of the force - said she did not report the first incident at the time as she feared no-one would believe her.

Appearing on the ITV Tonight programme Women: How Safe Are We? in the wake of Sarah Everard's disappearance and death, which has opened up a wider debate about the safety of women on our streets, the retired officer revealed she had been the victim of "unwanted touching" on two separate occasions during her time in the force.

Ms Fish told Julie Etchingham she would report misogyny to the police herself, but it would depend on the type of offence, adding: "Two of my particularly unpleasant experiences as a police officer were both [when I was] subject of... Technically indecent assaults, both of them, and I didn't report one at all, and I did the second one."

Asked by Julie as to why she didn't report the first assault, Ms Fish said: "I was a lot younger, felt a lot more vulnerable…

"There were no witnesses, it was a senior officer.

"He was very well liked, very well regarded - who was going to believe me?"

She added: "The second situation was exactly the same. Only I was older, but still very much the junior officer."

The man, from a different police force, was described as "very, very senior" by Ms Fish.

After she reported the incident, Ms Fish said she was satisfied that it was made clear to him that his behaviour was inappropriate - but he remained in his post.

Ms Fish said: “It wasn't particularly nice being on the receiving end… and it's not nice telling it again, to be honest. Yeah, it's hard.“

Talking about the situation in police forces at the moment, she said: "There are so many good people in policing, male and female, [but] there is still what I hope is a minority... That’s absolutely toxic."

Ms Fish said she still believe such assaults were carried out in the police.

She said: "It's still carrying on, despite the best endeavours of the leadership of the service, it still goes on."


  • Women: How Safe Are We? Tonight is on ITV at 7.30pm on Thursday 8 April.