NPCC calls for stronger dismissals and misconduct powers
The National Police Chiefs' Council has been calling for stronger powers to rid policing of those unfit to wear the uniform, and has asked for legislative change to ensure chief constables have the final say on sanctions.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Misconduct, Chief Constable Craig Guildford, explains:
“We are resolute in our commitment to rid policing of those not fit to wear the uniform. Chief Constables up and down the country are determined to ensure this happens. To support us in doing so, we made submissions to the Home Office with policy considerations on dismissals and the wider misconduct process.
“We asked for legislative change to ensure Chief Constables as the employers have the final say on sanctions instead of legally qualified chairs (LQCs). Evidence shows that chiefs dismiss proven gross misconduct cases at double the rate of LQCs and that 95% of accelerated hearings chaired by chiefs end in dismissal, or would have if the officer hadn’t left the force before the conclusion of the proceedings.
“We also highlighted how there is no automatic termination of employment for certain serious offences after a police officer or member of staff is convicted in court. This cannot be right, and we have called for the introduction of a statutory dismissal route for any individual who fails vetting following a review which would have barred them from entering the service in the first place.
“We are all frustrated by delays and backlogs in the Criminal Justice System post-Covid which often limit our ability to bring misconduct proceedings to a more expeditious conclusion. We always respect the principle that criminal matters must rightly take precedence and have sought to address the issue of unavoidable lengthy suspensions by ensuring misconduct and criminal proceedings run concurrently wherever legally possible.
“Any new processes must always be fair, streamlined, deliver swifter action, and support police forces in rooting out any abusers or corrupt individuals who blight our service. We continue to work constructively with the Home Office and other key stakeholders whilst we await the outcome of recent consultation on these matters and any contemplated reforms.”
More detailed comment will be made once recommendations of the Home Office Police Dismissals Review are published later this year.