Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Police: the Professional Standards required

In the light of the Ian Tomlinson case, here is a look at the standards of professional conduct expected of the Police.  They are set out in a Schedule to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008:-

Honesty and Integrity - Police Officers are honest, act with integrity and do not compromise or abuse their position

Authority, Respect and Courtesy - Police Officers act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy.  Police Officers do not abuse their powers or authority and respect the rights of all individuals.

Equality and Diversity - Police Officers act with fairness and impartiality.  They do not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly.

Use of Force - Police Officers only use force to the extent that it is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances

Orders and Instructions - Police Officers only give and carry out lawful orders and instructions.  Police officers abide by police regulations, force policies and lawful orders

Duties and responsibilities - Police Officers are diligent in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities

Confidentiality - Police Officers treat information with respect and access or disclose it only in the proper course of police duties

Fitness for Duty - Police Officers when on duty or presenting themselves for duty are fit to carry out their responsibilities

Discreditable Conduct - Police Officers behave in a manner which does not discredit the police service or undermine public confidence in it, whether on or off duty.  Police Officers report any action taken against them for a criminal offence, any conditions imposed on them by a court or the recepit of any penalty notice.

Challenging and Reporting Improper Conduct - Police Officers report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the standards of professional behaviour.

The Office of Constable is a demanding role and often requires considerable courage.  A Constable swears an oath - "I do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve The Queen in the Office of Constable with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law".

An interesting pamphlet on "The Office of Constable" may be seen here.

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