Code of Ethics will arrive this month

This article appears in the April 2014 edition of the College newsletter.

The Code of Ethics, the first national document setting out the standards of professional behaviour for police officers and staff, will be sent to forces later this month.

It defines what exemplary behaviour within policing looks like, and has practical examples for officers and staff to use in their everyday jobs.

It sets out nine policing principles and 10 standards of professional behaviour, and encourages officers and staff to challenge those who fall short of the Code - while at the same time protecting those who do make complaints.

It will become a code of practice in the summer under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Chief constables must have regard to the code in carrying out their functions as operational leaders of the service.

The College of Policing's chief executive, Chief Constable Alex Marshall, said it is not a discipline code, but one that outlines for the first time what the public can expect from police.

Mr Marshall said: "The Code of Ethics is a first for policing in England and Wales. It is a national document reflecting the core principles and standards of behaviour that every member of the police service should strive to maintain.

"We do not want this to be 'just another document' for officers and staff to read. It must be one that is used to help people make professional decisions - to do the right thing in the right way. It encourages officers and staff to report improper conduct and never ignore unprofessional behaviour by a colleague.

"The Code of Ethics is about self-awareness, ensuring that everyone in policing is empowered to always do the right things and feel confident to challenge colleagues irrespective of their rank, role or position."

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