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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
NewsPolice chiefs given powers to sack unfit officers

Police chiefs given powers to sack unfit officers

The government has given police chiefs the powers to sack officers who are not fit to wear the badge.

Chief constable Stephen Watson – or his delegate – will now have responsibility for chairing misconduct hearings which decide on the removal of officers found guilty of police misconduct, allowing for greater jurisdiction over their own workforce.

The new measures have been introduced nationally across England and Wales and will also see the appointment of independent lawyers in an advisory role to chiefs and the wider panel.

Confidence

Policing minister Chris Philp said that the public need confidence that the officers who serve their community in Greater Manchester, are dedicated to keeping them safe.

He added: “The majority of officers in Greater Manchester Police are hardworking, dedicated individuals who put themselves at risk every day to keep the public safe.

“These changes will ensure that the local chief constable is given greater responsibility to boot out the small minority of officers who threaten the integrity of their force.”

In February, the government set out 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.

A welcome change

Chief constable for GMP, Stephen Watson QPM said: “We welcome this change in legislation which will allow us the increased capacity to root out and boot out more officers unfit to serve the public more quickly.

“In Greater Manchester over the last two years, we have already tripled the rate in which we’ve been dismissing officers who should not be in our uniform.

“We are using all available powers to ensure the public can have trust in their police force, including us increasingly looking to appeal for police pensions to be forfeited where applicable.

“The vast, vast majority of GMP’s officers are dedicated and compassionate professionals who are committed to making sure we are providing the best possible service for the people of GM.”

In some circumstances, chiefs will be able to delegate their 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.

Professional standards and ethics Lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Craig Guildford 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.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Greater Manchester will also have greater responsibility for scrutinising the decisions made by dismissals panels. Following the local elections last week, the newly elected PCCs across England and Wales will now be tasked with holding those making dismissals decisions to account.

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