Police officers, staff and volunteers from Hampshire Constabulary will be signing up to the new police ‘Code of Ethics’, being launched today.
The Code – a first for policing in England and Wales – is set to be laid as a code of practice before Parliament, Today, Tuesday, July 15, as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It will be adopted by all 43 forces in England and Wales applying to more than 220,000 officers, police staff, contractors and volunteers working in policing.
It is based around nine principles – Accountability, Fairness, Honesty, Integrity, Leadership, Objectivity, Openness, Respect and Selflessness – and sets out the standards of behaviour that the public can expect from officers and staff at every role and at every level and will help guide decision making.
The Code will help police officers, staff and volunteers to make complex split second judgements – often in highly challenging situations – on a consistent and ethical basis.
The difficulty of some of these judgments will be highlighted in research made public as part of the launch. More than 2,000 members of the public were asked how they might deal with some of the ethical dilemmas faced each day by those in policing. More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) said they wouldn’t want to be in the position of a police officer or staff member when making those decisions and 40% of those surveyed felt the challenges facing the police when making decisions were harder than they previously thought. You can read more in the attached summary.
Hampshire’s Chief Constable Andy Marsh said:
“We welcome the new Police Code of Ethics. As the College have made clear, the vast majority of those working in policing already demonstrate high standards of behaviour on a daily basis.”
“As this research shows, some of the decisions that we have to make in protecting our communities are extremely difficult. The new Code will bring greater consistency by defining expectations more clearly and it brings policing into line with other professions that have similar codes, such as medicine.”
“How we conduct ourselves every day matters and we hope this Code will help the public to have ever more confidence in the police.”
The College of Policing has also launched an online video of frontline officers and police staff from across the country talking about the importance of the Code of Ethics and what it means to them. The video can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5P9USuCeUc