Consultation: Code of Ethics

A draft of the new Code of Ethics for the January 2023 consultation.

The Code of Ethics was first produced by the College of Policing in 2014 in its role as the professional body for policing. This new version of the Code of Ethics is being consulted on from 6 March 2023 to 28 April 2023. It will replace the existing Code of Ethics following consultation.

1. Introduction

1.1 The Code of Ethics sets out how we work together in policing and with the public, so we can keep people safe. It provides a framework to guide the actions taken and decisions made by police officers, police staff, special constables and volunteers every day.

1.2 The Code of Ethics is supported by the Code of Practice for ethical policing, which sets a statutory requirement for chief officers. 

1.3 Effective policing is built on public trust and confidence, which depends on a policing profession that is ethical and professional in the way that it respects, listens, responds, improves and serves the public.

1.4 The College of Policing has developed guidance and statutory provisions that will support everyone in policing to deliver ethical and professional policing services.

1.5 The guidance and statutory provisions provide ethical policing principles to support decision making, and guidance on ethical and professional behaviour, supported by a statutory Code of Practice for ethical policing.

1.6 By ‘everyone in policing’, we mean:

  • police officers
  • police staff
  • police community support officers (PCSOs) and those with designated powers
  • members of the Special Constabulary
  • police support volunteers and cadets
  • police officers and staff on secondment or overseas deployment
  • designated contract managers, contractors and staff employed by suppliers delivering services on behalf of forces

Code of Ethics

Code of Practice for ethical policing

The Code of Ethics is supported by a Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice sets a statutory requirement for chief officers.

It includes actions that organisational leaders can take to support people in their force to use the ethical policing principles and demonstrate professional behaviour.

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