PCCs across the region join forces to recruit legally qualified chairs

As an overhaul of the police complaints system gets underway, PCCs across the region have worked together to recruit lawyers to chair hearings into allegations of police misconduct.

From January 1 2016, police misconduct panels will be chaired by legally qualified chairs rather than senior police officers, as part of efforts by the government to make the process more transparent.

Within the Eastern Region, Police and Crime Commissioners for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk have recruited 17 lawyers to preside over hearings held in each of the counties.

The successful candidates were required to demonstrate integrity, sound judgement, objectivity and a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. They have been appointed on an initial four year term to chair hearings as and when required, and will undergo training to assist them in their role.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said, “Since May the misconduct panels have been heard in public and this is a very positive step to improved transparency. It is very important that we are as transparent as possible in all of our work and this is a key aspect of ensuring that our disciplinary processes are similarly visible to the public.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to work together with my fellow PCCs across the region, this is an excellent example of partnership working .”

Information on how members of the public can attend disciplinary hearings will be published on the relevant Constabulary’s website.