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Conduct and Performance Liaison Officer

The role is primarily liaison with Professional Standards Department and the discipline trained Reps. The DLO carries a workload but is also responsible for the allocation of clients and cases. Occasionally, members may need to change their Federation Rep for reasons such as a conflict of interest and this is managed by the DLO.

There are regional and national meetings where trends such as integrity testing and intelligence interviewing are discussed. It is useful to look at other Force practices and experiences are shared. The Regional meetings are mirrored by heads of PSD. At our meetings, we meet with Federation Solicitors from Slater and Gordon and have regular interesting discussions with the IPCC.

Currently the changes to the Discipline Regulations are the main interest. There have been substantial changes to our practices and those of PSD. In order to improve the timeliness of the whole process, thus reducing the stress on officers, we have agreed to strict time limits for investigations. As a consequence, it is vitally important for members to contact the Federation as soon as they receive a complaint or Reg 14/15 and/or as soon as they know they will be interviewed. This is the only way we have time to get appropriate legal advice. Most of the changes to the way the Discipline is now dealt with are beneficial to our members. Suffolk was the first Force in the Country to have a contested ‘Full Powers Hearing’ and the experience gained will be shared with all our Discipline Representatives at the regular committee meetings. Whilst most employees can now act as a ‘Friend’ if you are subject of a discipline investigation only the Federation insure people to assist you. I strongly urge you to remember the best piece of legal advice – “only an ass defends himself”.

POLICE (CONDUCT) REGULATIONS 2008 SCHEDULE – REGULATION 3
Standards of Professional Behaviour

  • 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 must behave in a manner which does not discredit the police service or undermine public confidence, 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 receipt of any penalty notice.
  • Challenging and Reporting Improper Conduct
    All Police officers report, challenge or take prompt action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
  • New Discipline Regulations
    Timeliness is very important you will receive a Regulation 15 informing you of what is alleged against you and you should consult the Federation as soon as you get them. You have TEN days to respond to the Discipline Forms and we may need to obtain advice before responding. When arranging an interview, please liaise closely with your Federation Friend as there are tight time constraints with investigating officers.

Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 PART 1
General

1. Application

The Regs apply to the conduct of a police officer, which may amount to misconduct or gross misconduct.

2. Police Friend

(1) The officer concerned may choose:

(a) a police officer;
(b) a police staff member; or
(c) where the officer concerned is a member of a police force, a person nominated by his staff association, who is not otherwise involved in the matter, to act as his police friend

(2) A police friend may:

(a) advise the officer concerned throughout the proceedings under these Regulations;
(b) unless the officer concerned has the right to be legally represented and chooses to be so represented, represent the officer concerned at the misconduct proceedings or special case hearing or appeal meeting;
(c) make representations to the appropriate authority concerning any aspect of the proceedings under these Regulations; and
(d) accompany the officer concerned to any interview, meeting or hearing which forms part of any proceedings under these Regulations.

3. Legal and other representation

(1) The officer concerned has the right to be legally represented, by either counsel or a solicitor of his choice, at a misconduct hearing or a special case hearing. Not at Discipline meetings.
(2) If the officer concerned chooses not to be legally represented at such a hearing he may be dismissed or receive any other outcome under regulation 35 or 56 without his being so represented.
(3) Except in a case where the officer concerned has the right to be legally represented and chooses to be so represented, he may be represented at misconduct proceedings or a special case hearing or an appeal meeting only by a police friend.
(4) The appropriate authority may be represented at misconduct proceedings or a special case hearing or an appeal meeting by:

(a) a police officer or police staff member of the police force concerned; or
(b) at a misconduct hearing or a special case hearing only, counsel or a solicitor (whether or not the officer concerned chooses to be legally represented).

Outstanding or possible criminal proceedings

See Federation intranet under discipline for full details

4. Suspension

(1) The appropriate authority may, subject to the provisions of this regulation, suspend the officer concerned from his office as constable and (in the case of a member of a police force) from membership of the force.
(2) An officer concerned who is suspended remains a police officer for the purposes of these Regulations.
(3) A suspension under this regulation shall be with pay.
(4) The appropriate authority shall not suspend a police officer under this regulation unless the following conditions (“the suspension conditions”) are satisfied:

(a) having considered temporary redeployment to alternative duties or an alternative location as an alternative to suspension, the appropriate authority has determined that such redeployment is not appropriate in all the circumstances of the case; and
(b) it appears to the appropriate authority that either:

(i) the effective investigation of the case may be prejudiced unless the officer concerned is so suspended; or
(ii) having regard to the nature of the allegation and any other relevant considerations, the public interest requires that he should be so suspended.

(5) The appropriate authority may exercise the power to suspend the officer concerned under this regulation at any time from the allegation coming to his or its attention until:

(a) it is decided that the conduct of the officer concerned shall not be referred to misconduct proceedings or a special case hearing; or
(b) such proceedings have concluded.

(6) The officer concerned (or his police friend) may make representations against his suspension to the appropriate authority:

(a) within 7 working days of his being suspended;
(b) at any time during the suspension if he reasonably believes that circumstances relevant to the suspension conditions have changed.

(7) Where, following a review under paragraph (8), the suspension conditions remain satisfied and the appropriate authority decides the suspension should continue, he or it shall, within 3 working days of the review, so notify the officer concerned in writing with a summary of the reasons.
(8) Where an officer concerned who is suspended is dismissed with notice under regulation 35 he shall remain suspended until the end of the notice period.

PART 2
Investigations

Full details can be found in Suffolk Police Federation intranet site under discipline.

5. Investigation

(1) The purpose of the investigation is to:

(a) gather evidence to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged misconduct or gross misconduct;
(b) assist the appropriate authority to establish whether there is a case to answer in respect of misconduct or gross misconduct or whether there is no case to answer.

(2) The investigator shall notify the officer concerned of the progress of the investigation:

(a) if there has been no previous notification, within 4 weeks of the start of the investigation; and
(b) in any other case, within 4 weeks of the previous notification.

6. Written notices

(1) The investigator shall as soon as practicable, unless he considers that to do so might prejudice the investigation or any other investigation (including, in particular, a criminal investigation), cause the officer concerned to be given written notice:

(a) describing the conduct that is the subject matter of the allegation and how that conduct is alleged to fall below the Standards of Professional Behaviour;
(b) of the appropriate authority’s assessment of whether that conduct, if proved, would amount to misconduct or gross misconduct;
(c) that there is to be an investigation into the matter and the identity of the investigator;
(d) of whether, if the matter were to be referred to misconduct proceedings, those would be likely to be a misconduct meeting or a misconduct hearing;
(e) that if the likely form of any misconduct proceedings to be held changes, further notice (with reasons) will be given;
(f) informing him that he has the right to seek advice from his staff association or any other body and of the effect of regulation 6(1);
(g) of the effect of regulations 7(1) to (3) and 16;
(h) informing him that whilst he does not have to say anything it may harm his case if he does not mention when interviewed or when providing any information under regulations 16(1) or 22(2) or (3) something which he later relies on in any misconduct proceedings or special case hearing or at an appeal meeting or appeal hearing.

(2) If following service of the notice under paragraph (1), the appropriate authority revises his or its assessment of the conduct in accordance with regulation 12(5) or his or its determination of the likely form of any misconduct proceedings to be taken, the appropriate authority shall, as soon as practicable, give the officer concerned further written notice of:

(a) the assessment of whether the conduct, if proved, would amount to misconduct or gross misconduct as the case may be and the reason for that assessment;
(b) whether, if the case were to be referred to misconduct proceedings, those would be likely to be a misconduct meeting or a misconduct hearing and the reason for this.

7. Representations to the investigator

(1) Within 10 working days of receipt of the notice given under regulation 15(1) (unless this period is extended by the investigator):

(a) the officer concerned may provide a written or oral statement relating to any matter under investigation; and
(b) the officer concerned or his police friend may provide any relevant documents to the investigator.

(2) The investigator shall, as part of his investigation, consider any such statement or document and shall make a record of having received it.
(3) In this regulation “relevant document”:

(a) means a document relating to any matter under investigation, and
(b) includes such a document containing suggestions as to lines of inquiry to be pursued or witnesses to be interviewed.

8. Interviews during investigation

(1) Where an investigator wishes to interview the officer concerned as part of his investigation, he shall, if reasonably practicable, agree a date and time for the interview with the officer concerned.

9. Report of investigation

(1) On completion of his investigation the investigator shall as soon as practicable submit a written report on his investigation to the appropriate authority.
(2) The written report shall:

(a) provide an accurate summary of the evidence;
(b) attach or refer to any relevant documents; and
(c) indicate the investigator’s opinion as to whether there is a case to answer in respect of misconduct or gross misconduct or whether there is no case to answer.

PART 3
Misconduct

Referral of case to misconduct proceedings

This part includes the whole process and procedures in relation to the proceedings. Please read Suffolk Police Federation intranet site for further information.

PART 5

Fast track procedure for special cases

Very serious cases can be fast tracked and relates to gross misconduct. Contact Federation Office immediately.

Referral of case to special case hearing

Procedures relating to specials cases are complex.