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How officers, staff and volunteers, in practice, identify, approach and resolve ethical issues in policing

Summarising research evidence on how to resolve ethical issues in policing

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Paul Quinton
Police region
West Midlands
Level of research
Professional/work based
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

The Code of Ethics (CoE) complements the national decision model (NDM) to support everyone in policing who may regularly take decisions that involve ethical or moral considerations.

The NDM places the Code at the core of the decision-making process. The College of Policing’s review of the Code of Ethics looks at how ethical considerations can inform decision-making within the current framework.

This rapid evidence assessment (REA) focuses on supporting the review of the policing principles within the Code of Ethics with the aim of:

  • establishing whether they reflect the requirements for both contemporary and future policing
  • ensuring they are inspirational, befitting, and relevant to all in policing
  • ensuring they provide a strong and practical ethical framework that supports autonomous, professional decision-making and learning and development
  • supporting ‘candour’, as per the Hillsborough and Daniel Morgan Inquiries

Research methodology

This REA follows the College of Policing’s evidence-based guideline development process.

Systematic searches of social research databases will be carried out to identify a list of references. Duplicates will be removed, and initial screening performed based on title and abstract using agreed inclusion and exclusion criteria. Articles which pass the initial screening stage will progress to secondary screening based on full text.

The included articles will be reviewed and synthesised thematically in order to contribute to the evidence presented to the committee reviewing the policing principles.

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