Review of police dismissals launched
The review will be completed within 4 months and look at the effectiveness of the police disciplinary system.
A review to ensure that the police officer dismissal process is effective at removing those who are not fit to serve the public has been launched by the Home Office today (17 January 2022).
The internal review will look at the effectiveness of the disciplinary system so the public can be confident it is fair but efficient at removing officers who fall far short of the high standards expected of them.
Baroness Casey’s interim report into the culture and standards at the Metropolitan Police Service, published last year, raised concerns about the low number of police officers being dismissed and that those with multiple allegations of misconduct against them are still serving the public. She was also concerned that officers from ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in the misconduct system.
As set out in the terms of reference published on GOV.UK Police officer dismissals review: terms of reference, Home Office officials will examine the consistency of decision making at misconduct hearings and disproportionality in dismissals, alongside reviewing the existing model of misconduct panels and the impact of legally qualified chairs (LQCs).
The review, which will be completed within approximately 4 months, will also ensure that forces are able to effectively use regulations that allow probationary officers who do not meet the required standard to be let go, and look at whether the current three-tier performance system is effective in being able to dismiss officers who fail to perform the duties expected of their rank and role.
The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said:
The reputation of British policing has been severely damaged by the atrocious behaviour of police officers like David Carrick, and the public’s trust in our police has been shaken.
Officers who fall short and are not fit to serve the public have no place in our police, and we must ensure they can be dismissed as swiftly as possible.
I have been clear that culture and standards in policing must improve and they focus on common sense policing which the public rightly expects and deserves.
This review will ensure that bureaucracy and unnecessary process will not prevail over ethics and common sense.
It will urgently identify reforms to the dismissals process so that we can enact change.
Policing stakeholders are also invited to submit evidence on the broader effectiveness of the disciplinary and performance systems for consideration outside of this review.
The is one part of the government’s work to tackle police culture and standards following recent high-profile events, including the appalling case of David Carrick, which have shattered public confidence in policing. The government is clear that there is no place in our police forces for officers who fall seriously short of the acceptable standards of behaviour and are not fit to wear the uniform, and police forces must root out these officers to restore the public’s trust.
The government has introduced significant reforms to the police complaints and discipline systems in recent years – from misconduct hearings in public and independent legally qualified chairs (LQCs) to the introduction of the barred list and the strengthening of powers for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
In addition, the Angiolini Inquiry is currently examining the issues raised by the conviction of then serving officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard last year, and the Home Secretary expects part 2 of this inquiry to examine police culture and vetting processes.
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