Integrity and transparency

Helping ensure that the people who work for the police uphold the values of the service, strive to do the right thing in all situations and have the confidence of the public.

The College provides guidance to help forces make decisions about integrity. Information is also available from other organisations.


Outcomes in police misconduct proceedings

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

It 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, among 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.

Maintaining professional boundaries

There is no place in policing for those who abuse their position for sexual purposes. This guidance sets out the broad principles to support decision-making and professionalism relating to maintaining professional relationships with members of the public. It is not intended to cover every situation. It should be read in conjunction with the Code of Ethics and applies to police officers, special constables, police staff and police volunteers. It does not apply to relationships with colleagues in the police service or in agencies or bodies working with the police.

Appropriate personal relationships and behaviours in the workplace

This guidance is intended to raise awareness of the issue of appropriate relationships, how they can affect fairness in the workplace, and what each individual's personal responsibilities are to declare any conflicts of interest.

The guidance seeks to help staff to understand whether a relationship could result in a negative impact on public confidence, or the ability of a force to deliver an effective and efficient police service being undermined.

Useful information from other organisations

Police officer and police staff discipline

​From 1 May 2015 Police Regulations were amended to enable police officer gross misconduct hearings to be held in public. Forces publish full details of the outcome of cases and these are available for at least 28 days on their website.

This provision applies only to police officers and special constables and does not apply to PCSOs or other members of police staff.

From 1 January 2016 all gross misconduct panel hearings are chaired by independent legally qualified chairs (LQC – the LQC must be chosen from a list of candidates which are maintained by the local policing body).

The Home Office guidance covers the standards of professional behaviour for police officers, including special constables, and sets out the procedures for dealing with misconduct, unsatisfactory performance and attendance and for appeals to the Police Appeals Tribunal.

Police staff discipline is conducted in line with the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Also see data on misconduct and criminal investigations that is produced by the Home Office annually.

Senior police officer transparency

Senior police pay and rewards, gifts and hospitality, and outside interests is published on the website. You will need to search 'Find your neighbourhood' and enter the force. Then click on 'performance' and 'remuneration'.

Public complaints against members of the police service

If you wish to make a complaint against a member of a police force or against the organisation itself you can do so by either contacting the force directly or make your complaint via the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).