HMICFRS release report on vetting, misconduct and misogyny


Marc Jones, Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said:

“The public rightly expects the highest standards from our officers and this report presents a deeply concerning picture in relation to vetting, misconduct and misogyny in our police service.

“To ensure we have a service of the upmost professionalism, it is vital that forces are getting it right from the point of recruitment. We welcome an urgent and comprehensive review of the processes currently in place to ensure that forces are effectively and consistently identifying unsuitable candidates. 

“What is also clear is that there is much more to do to address the toxic misogynistic culture which remains engrained in some areas. Complacency is not an option and forces must get better at identifying and eradicating these behaviours if they are to uphold the standards expected by the communities they serve.

“As Police and Crime Commissioners, we are committed to holding Chief Constables to account and will see that appropriate steps are put in place to embed all 43 of these recommendations. We will continue to work with our national partners to ensure the right guidance is available to forces to take forward these recommendations and make vital improvements to the way in which they respond to allegations of misconduct.”

APCC Leads for Transparency and Integrity, Giles Orpen-Smellie and Alison Lowe, added:

“While disappointing, this report shines a light into problems with both the vetting and misconduct processes, with constructive recommendations for getting the right processes in place and increasing public confidence in the long term.

“Police forces have acted at pace to recruit the 20,000 new officers as part of the Uplift programme, but without the corresponding police staff, perhaps due to pressures on police budgets, vetting standards have clearly slipped. It is essential that Chief Constables take urgent action to ensure that only the highest calibre of officers are recruited, and that any problems are rooted out at an early stage. 

“More comprehensive College of Policing guidance, more rigorous vetting for officers transferring between forces and the use of vetting interviews are essential.

“We also envisage that the Home Office including the use of Regulation 13 of the Police Regulations 2003 within the forthcoming Dismissal Review will help to ensure that forces are able to effectively dispense with the services of probationary officers who will not become well-conducted officers. This provides a relatively straightforward way to discharge an officer while they are within their probationary period.”


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