A new police performance system could help reduce the number of police officers going through misconduct cases by 80%.
Training, restorative action, mediation, closer supervision and welfare intervention will be used at times instead of sanctions. The onus will also be on supervisors to deal with the issue, rather than putting officers through “unnecessary and potentially traumatic misconduct processes”, said the Police Federation of England and Wales’ Conduct Lead Phill Matthews.
The Performance Requiring Improvement (PRI) system is due to come into force later this year.
The complaints process has come under criticism for being unwieldy, time consuming and unnecessarily stressful for police officers. More than 70% of misconduct cases are eventually classified as ‘No Case to Answer’.
Mr Matthews added: “We need to create a culture where we put back the pride in policing and recognise that officers don’t come to work to do a rubbish job; they want to make a difference and if they make a mistake, we want to be there to support them and guide them to do better next time.”
Det Ch Insp Mike Allen, who sits on the the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Complaints and Misconduct Working Group, said: “Too often, we have lost great officers in the past because of this system. What we want to do is concede that everybody can make a simple mistake – but it doesn’t have to be a career-ending mistake.
“The police service has to evolve like other professions and work with its people to retain the best; yes, they can make mistakes, but unless they are corrupt or inept, let’s keep them and make them into even better officers.”
Date posted: March 9, 2019