Police officers facing misconduct allegations are being allowed to escape punishment by quitting their forces.

Chiefs let more than 130 employees walk out at Scotland Yard over the past year instead of facing a misconduct panel.

The force sacked 43 officers over that same period, figures obtained by the Press Association show.

With police conduct under "unprecedented" scrutiny, Commander Peter Spindler, the Metropolitan Police's discipline chief, insisted he was not letting corrupt officers off the hook. But Mr Spindler, head of the force's directorate of professional standards, said in many cases "it's actually more pragmatic to let them resign".

Officers have been angered by a recent report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) claiming forces were failing to respond to "far too many" complaints about officers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Heselden said he had been told "we should be making an example of them" instead of letting them resign.

But he said: "The process is slow, they are sitting there on taxpayers' expense, secondly there's no guarantee that a panel will come to that conclusion. It's cheaper and quicker to get them out of the force. The objective is to get someone out (of) the organisation."

Discipline officers have beefed up the internal investigation unit in recent months, moving into a centralised base in Earls Court. Officers say they now have "every power available" to beat corruption, including setting up stings on its own employees.

Across the country, more than 6,000 people were forced to appeal to the IPCC this year, 1,200 after complaints were ignored by police, according to Deborah Glass, of the police watchdog.

But Mr Spindler said: "Our main focus is that we have managed to reduce complaints by 9% over the 12-month rolling period. Ignore what the IPCC is saying because it is 10 months out of date. It's been a lot of hard work to get here."