West Midlands Police chief welcomes new powers to sack rogue officers - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands Police chief welcomes new powers to sack rogue officers

Solihull Editorial 10th May, 2024 Updated: 13th May, 2024   0

WEST MIDLANDS Police chief has welcomed new powers to sack officers not fit to wear the badge.

The Government has given Chief Constables, or their delegates, across the country greater powers to drive culture and standards in their force.

This mean Chief Constable Craig Guildford will now have responsibility for chairing Standard Misconduct Hearings, rather than only Fast Track Hearings which decide on the removal of officers found guilty of police misconduct.

The new measures are being introduced nationally across England and Wales today and will also see the appointment of independent lawyers in an advisory role to Chiefs and the wider panel.

Chief Constable Guildford, who is also the national policing lead for Professional Standards and Ethics, said: “I have been leading on these changes nationally with the Home Office and other stakeholders on behalf of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). This is a comprehensive suite of measures designed to expeditiously remove those who are not fit to wear the uniform.

“Chiefs will now be responsible for chairing all Hearing types which gives them far greater jurisdiction over their whole workforce.

“It is hugely important to emphasise that the vast majority of officers are dedicated, hard-working professionals who go the extra-mile to help keep the public safe. Chiefs have continued to bear down on the small minority who badly let the public and the service down.”

In February, the government set out further changes to the police disciplinary system which will mean that any officer charged with an indictable offence will be automatically suspended from duty until an outcome is reached.

This was alongside legislation that will make it easier to sack officers who fail to hold basic vetting when re-checked, as well as anyone found guilty of gross misconduct.

In some circumstances, for Standard Hearings, the Chief will be able to delegate his role as chair of the panel to a senior officer, or staff member of equivalent grade to ensure best possible use of public and policing resources.

West Midlands Police have been leading the way on these reforms and will continue to support forces nationally on their implementation.

New continuous integrity screenings which the government has committed to funding will enable West Midlands Police, in the future, to receive automated intelligence alerts on officers throughout their career and ensure information of concern is consistently identified and quickly dealt with.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Midlands will also have greater responsibility for scrutinising the decisions made by Hearing Panels and will now be tasked with holding those making dismissals decisions to account.

The Chief, or in some cases a senior police officer in West Midlands, will need to provide justification for certain decisions to the PCC.

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