‘Data Wash’ Should Help Restore Public Trust

A historic ‘data wash’ to screen serving officers is a positive move that will help restore public faith in policing, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

In January the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) published the results of the largest integrity screening project ever undertaken in policing, with more than 307,000 officers, staff and volunteers checked against the Police National Database. Less than 0.15% of records were referred to an appropriate authority, and a fifth of those needed no further action.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said it was a positive move that should be repeated every year.

She said: “Our Chief Constable has told me that the whole of Hampshire Constabulary has been data washed and 99.9% of officers are absolutely fine. The vast, vast majority of police officers are in policing for the right reasons, because they want to help the public, they want to provide a service, and hopefully this will reassure the public.”

She added: “I think it does need to be done every year, because it’s going to take years to repair the damage of the events of the past few years. We need to keep doing it until that trust and confidence is rebuilt with the public.

“If an officer’s got nothing to hide then they shouldn’t have any issues with this being done every year. And if there is stuff that’s happened, people need to be open and honest and we’ll deal with that. None of us want bad people in the organisation.”

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