Government Guidance Must Tie In With New Code Of Ethics

The Home Office must revise its guidance for policing so that it is in line with the new Code of Ethics, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has been working with the College of Policing to produce the new Code of Ethics, with the aim of giving clear guidance to police officers to adhere to ethical behaviour, both on and off duty.

But PFEW says there is now a mismatch between the official Home Office guidance, the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020 and the new Code of Ethics. It has strongly urged the Home Office to revise its guidance, which is not up to date on issues such as Reflective Practice.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield agreed, saying: “The Code of Ethics and the Conduct Regulations need to work hand in hand – they need to be using the same type of language and they need to interlink.”

But Zoë added that some of the language used in the Code of Ethics could be clearer, and that officers might need additional guidance on its contents.

She said: “I understand why they’ve changed the Code of Ethics and I think it was needed, but I do think there are some things in there that could be clearer. For example, the use of the word ‘candour’. That can mean different things to different people and I think using more common, everyday words would have made it clearer.

“If they want police officers to comply with it, they’ve got to make sure police officers understand it. Officers need to be given training around this, where they’re told: ‘This is the new Code of Ethics, this is what it means, this is how it impacts you’. Give people the opportunity to ask questions, if there’s bits of it they don’t understand.”

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