Process To Dismiss Officers Must Be Fair And Not Political

ANY process to dismiss police officers must be fair, Hampshire Police Federation has said, following a political proposal for police chiefs to get rid of officers without due legal process.

On 19 May, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and MP Rt Hon Harriet Harman published a Bill to reform the regulations governing police conduct and dismissal.

Among their recommendations, they want Chief Constables to have the power to reopen misconduct investigations, and to reduce the performance process to a two-stage process, from the current three stages and three appeals.

The national Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has issued a statement saying that Khan and Harman are “calling for undemocratic powers to chief officers under the guise of police reforms”. It added: “Systemic changes in police recruitment, vetting, training, standards, and leadership are needed, but any change must be fair, considered and backed by proper evidence and not conjecture.”

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield agreed, saying: “None of us are against getting rid of officers who have committed horrible crimes – that should not be part of our organisation. I don’t think any of us have any issues with getting rid of those people.

“But for the majority of officers, any process to dismiss them has to be fair, because otherwise there will always be appeals, and the officers will come back in, and that creates more work and costs more money for everyone. So they need to get the process right from the outset.”

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