The Professional Standards Department (PSD) is responsible for the investigation of all public complaints, whether they are made about Police Officers, Police Staff or Special Constables.

In addition, they investigate the more serious allegations of misconduct involving police officers and special constables. And as well as dealing with complaints, the PSD also accept and pass on commendations.

On 1st December 2008 new Police Officer Standards of Professional Behaviour were introduced throughout England and Wales.

The Standards reflect the expectation that the police service and our local communities have of how police officers should act whether on or off duty.  Public confidence in the police depends upon police officers and police staff demonstrating the highest level of personal professional standards of behaviour.

The Standards cover:-

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Authority, Respect and Courtesy
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Use of Force
  • Orders and Instructions
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Confidentiality
  • Fitness for Duty
  • Discreditable Conduct
  • Challenging / Reporting Improper Conduct

The Standards outlined above enable everybody to know what type of conduct by a police officer or member of police staff is acceptable.  If you believe that the conduct of a police officer or police staff member is unacceptable, we would invite you to make contact with us.

The College of Policing developed the Code of Ethics on behalf of every member of the policing profession of England and Wales. The work was carried out by the College’s Integrity Programme in association with the national policing leads for Ethics and Professional Standards and a wide range of key stakeholders, including Chief Constables, PCCs, oversight bodies, staff associations and trade unions, and police practitioners.

The College of Policing has issued the Code of Ethics as a code of practice under section 39A of the Police Act 1996 (as amended by section 124 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014).

The aim of this Code of Ethics is to support each member of the policing profession to deliver the highest professional standards in their service to the public and is a Code of Practice for the Principles and Standards of Professional Behaviour for the Policing Profession of England and Wales

The College of Policing has arrived at nine policing principles which are built on the Nolan principles for public life, with the addition of ‘Fairness’ and ‘Respect’.

The nine policing principles are:

  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Openness
  • Fairness
  • Leadership
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Objectivity
  • Selflessness

These principles underpin and strengthen the existing procedures and regulations for ensuring standards of professional behaviour for both police officers and police staff.

This gives the profession and the public the confidence that there is a system in place to respond appropriately if anyone believes that the expectations of the Code of Ethics have not been met.

Breaches of the Code of Ethics will not always involve misconduct or require disciplinary proceedings.

Breaches will range from relatively minor shortcomings in conduct, performance or attendance through to gross misconduct and corruption.

Different procedures exist according to the type of unprofessional behaviour or misconduct alleged.

Misconduct Hearings

A Misconduct Hearing is held when an officer faces allegations of gross misconduct. The hearing is conducted by a panel who determine whether there is a case to answer and what the sanction should be. Hearings form part of the disciplinary process and are not criminal proceedings.

The Misconduct Hearing panel consists of an independent Legally Qualified Chair, an independent lay person and a police officer of superintendent rank or above.

From 1st May 2015 Police Misconduct Hearings are held in public, although there may be certain situations where the Legally Qualified Chair determines it necessary and appropriate that all or parts of a hearing are held in private.

Applications to attend a hearing can be sent to where they will be considered individually. Please note that attendees must agree to comply with the terms outlined in the conditions of entry.

Details of forthcoming hearings will be published below at least 5 working days prior to the commencement of the hearing.

  • No details at present

The outcomes of previous Misconduct Hearings will be published below. The information published will be determined by the Legally Qualified Chair to the Misconduct Hearing and will remain on this webpage for a period of 28 days.

  • No details at present