Rogue police officers to be sacked quicker for misconduct
In an announcement published on the Gov.uk website, there will be changes to the law relating to disciplining, vetting and dealing with performance issues of police officers.
The move is stated to ensure higher levels of professionalism, speed up the removal of rogue officers, and restore confidence in the forces.
Changes to the law will include ensuring officers are appropriately vetted during employment, and to enable those who do not pass re-vetting, to be dismissed.
The law will be changed such that a finding of gross misconduct will result in automatic dismissal, unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is intended to speed up the dismissal of officers who are not fit to serve.
Chief constables will chair independent misconduct panels. Former officers and special Constable cases will be determined under a fast-track procedure, with a view to cutting red tape and saving taxpayers money.
The Home Secretary said of the changes “Corrupt police officers and those who behave poorly or fail vetting must be kicked out of our forces. For too long our police chiefs have not had the powers they need to root out those who have no place wearing the uniform.… Now they can take swift and robust action to sack officers who should not be serving our communities.… The public must have confidence that their officers are the best of the best, like the vast majority of brave men and women wearing the badge, and that’s why those who disgrace the uniform must have no place to hide.”
The government will work with the sector to create a list of criminal offences which would automatically amount to gross misconduct upon conviction.
They also announced a streamlining of the performance system, with a view to ensuring effective removal of officers with a serious inability or failure to perform their duties.
These changes follow a recent strengthening of vetting standards, which introduced a requirement for re-vetting after misconduct proceedings which did not end in dismissal.
The Metropolitan police Commissioner said “I’m grateful to the government for recognising the need for substantial change that will empower Chief officers in our fight to uphold the highest standards and restore confidence in policing…. The flaws in the existing regulations have contributed to our inability to fully address the systemic issues of poor standards and misconduct….Chief officers are held to account for the service we deliver and for the standards we uphold which is why I have been persistent in calling for us to have the powers to act decisively and without bureaucratic delays when we identify those who have no place in policing.”