Guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings

This guidance should be used to inform the approach taken by panels and chairpersons to determining outcomes in police misconduct proceedings.

​The College published the guidance in 2017 to increase fairness and proportionality in cases which is important for officers and public confidence in the hearings.

This guidance does not prescribe the outcome suitable for every case, but gives misconduct panels guidance on assessing the seriousness of conduct found to be proven, including factors which the panel may take into account.

As part of assessing the seriousness in cases, misconduct panels will consider, amongst other things the officer's record, culpability for the misconduct, the harm caused, aggravating factors and mitigation. Aggravating factors will include, for example, any misconduct against a vulnerable person, or where discrimination is evident.

While personal mitigation may also be relevant, the guidance reminds chairs that the case law confirms that the protection of the public and the interests of the profession are important. The guidance does not, however, override the discretion of those presiding and it cannot and should not prescribe the outcome.

The reasons for imposing a particular outcome should be recorded and usually read out in public. Each case will depend on its particular facts.

In 2016 the College undertook a six-week consultation to gauge views on the seriousness of different cases before the final guidance was published.

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