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Code of Ethics

What the Code of Ethics is, why it was created and how to embed it in all areas of policing.

What is the Code of Ethics?

The Code of Ethics was produced by the College of Policing in 2014 in its role as the professional body for policing. It sets and defines the exemplary standards of behaviour for everyone who works in policing.

It is a supportive, positive, everyday decision-making framework and is a constant reinforcement of the values and standards that policing is proud of. It is intended to encourage personal responsibility and the exercise of professional judgement; empowering everyone in policing to ensure they always do the right thing.

We are committed to ensuring that the Code of Ethics is not simply another piece of paper, poster or laminate, but is at the heart of every policy, procedure, decision and action in policing.

Code of Ethics review

The Code of Ethics is being reviewed. This follows a public consultation between July and September 2021.

Embedding the Code of Ethics

Evidence tells us that simply having a Code of Ethics is not enough to reduce unprofessional behaviour – it needs to be talked about as an everyday business consideration. If the public don't have the confidence to trust the police to be fair, acting ethically and in their best interests, they are less likely to assist the police in upholding the law.

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

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