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College of Policing update guidance on outcomes for misconduct proceedings

17 Aug 2022

Update includes tougher sanctions for officers who damage confidence in the police and new section on violence against women and girls.

The College of Policing have updated their guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings.

The guidance is for chief officers and independent legally qualified chairs who must be appointed to chair most misconduct hearing panels.

It supports:

  • assessment of the seriousness of officers' actions, including the wider impact on public confidence in policing
  • consistency and transparency when considering the appropriate outcome

The guidance states that chairs of misconduct hearings should consider the impact on public confidence in policing even where there has been no harm caused and the incident is not in the public domain.

The update includes a new section on violence against women and girls, saying the outcome is likely to be severe. 

National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Complaints and Misconduct, Chief Constable Craig Guildford, said:

“Police chiefs are committed to rooting out those officers who betray our professional standards and the public we serve. Those behind the most serious misconduct offences should receive the most severe response.

“This new guidance gives misconduct panels unequivocal direction that policing wants to see behaviour driven by misogyny, racism or any other form of discrimination treated with the highest gravity. This supports all the recent work policing has undertaken to tackle violence against women and girls.

“It shows the public that we are determined to eliminate toxic behaviour and damaging culture.

“Chiefs across the country will immediately share this guidance with all misconduct decision-makers with their clear support so it can be directly applied to all misconduct cases right away.

“The guidance will also ensure there is absolute clarity around the most appropriate sanctions for the worst cases."

Download the updated guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings.