Outcomes for police misconduct proceedings – updated guidance

Published on 17 August 2022
Update includes tougher sanctions for officers who damage confidence in the police and new section on violence against women and girls
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We've updated our guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings.

The guidance is for chief officers and independent legally qualified chairs who must be appointed to chair most misconduct hearing panels.

It supports:

  • assessment of the seriousness of officers' actions, including the wider impact on public confidence in policing
  • consistency and transparency when considering the appropriate outcome

The guidance states that chairs of misconduct hearings should consider the impact on public confidence in policing even where there has been no harm caused and the incident is not in the public domain.

The update includes a new section on violence against women and girls, saying the outcome is likely to be severe. 

Officers who commit violence towards women and girls should expect to be sacked and barred from re-joining the police. There is no place in policing for anyone who behaves in a way that damages the public’s trust in us to keep them safe. 

Today’s new guidance helps bring common sense and consistency to a process that is crucial to maintaining public trust in police. We need a misconduct system which is transparent, timely and isn’t afraid to show the door to officers who betray our values.  

I know from more than 30 years in policing that the vast majority of officers are dedicated public servants who work hard every day to keep people safe. They do not wish to work alongside officers who commit crimes or impact the trust people have in us. 

The process will be fair but any officer whose behaviour is found to damage public confidence in the police service should expect to be sacked.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, College of Policing CEO 

Reasoning should be recorded for all outcomes in misconduct proceedings, with an explanation provided if this does not follow the updated guidance.

The guidance on outcomes will be used alongside the Police Conduct Regulations laid in parliament in 2020, which sets out the process.

Read the guidance

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