The Home Office is to launch a review of police dismissals to raise standards and confidence in policing across England and Wales.
The internal study will be undertaken shortly a to ensure the system is more effective in removing officers who are not fit to serve the public.
Baroness Casey’s interim report into the culture and standards at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), published yesterday raises significant concerns, including that fewer officers are being dismissed, officers with multiple allegations made against them are still serving the public and police from ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in the misconduct system.
The Home Office review is likely to consider:
- the effectiveness of the existing system to dismiss those who fall seriously short of the standards expected by policing and the public
the impact of the introduction of changes to misconduct panels, including legally qualified chairs;
- whether forces are making use of their powers to discharge officers during their probationary period
Working with policing partners, it will also assess whether the regulatory framework for the police disciplinary system should be changed.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “The public rightly expects the highest standards of behaviour from police officers and the vast majority meet this expectation.
“But recently too many high-profile incidents and reports, especially in London, have damaged trust – which is unfair on the public and lets down other serving officers.
“This cannot continue. Culture and standards in the police must improve. And where an officer has fallen seriously short of these expectations, demonstrable, public action must be taken.
“I have been clear it is absolutely vital police act to restore trust, return to common-sense policing and treat the public and victims with the respect they deserve.
“I welcome the Metropolitan Police’s commitment to tackling the issues raised in the Baroness Casey report and hope this review will also help to address underlying concerns.”
The government has already overhauled the police discipline system over the last seven years, making it more transparent, more proportionate and more accountable – for example introducing public misconduct hearings in 2015 and bringing in the Police Barred List in 2017, ensuring that officers and staff who are dismissed cannot re-join the police.
In addition, the two-part Angiolini Inquiry is currently examining the issues raised by the conviction of then-serving officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard last year.
The second part is expected to scrutinise wider issues for policing and the safety of women.