Police Regulations that set out the unsatisfactory performance procedures (UPPs) for police officers are explained as well as the handling of complaints and conduct matters, and detailed guidance provided on when and how to use them.
This topic explains the procedures for dealing with police officer complaints, misconduct, poor performance and unsatisfactory attendance of police officers and police staff.
In August 2023, the Home Office announced a number of significant changes to police officer dismissal processes and procedures following a four-month review.
Under new rules to be implemented soon a finding of gross misconduct will automatically result in a police officer’s dismissal, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
Chief constables will resume chairing misconduct panels and will be handed greater powers to decide whether officers should be dismissed and will be given a right to challenge decisions.
Legally qualified chairs (LQCs) have been removed from their role and will instead be legally qualified persons (LQPs) with a function to provide independent advice.
The outcome will be decided by a majority panel decision and hearings will continue to be held in public to maintain transparency.
The law will also be changed to strengthen vetting procedures and the College of Policing announced in July 2023 changes to their Code of Practice for police vetting practices which include the following.
Vetting will be repeated if there is a material change in a person’s circumstances, including misconduct where an individual is not dismissed.
If a person cannot pass vetting checks or maintain clearance it is recommended that they be dismissed from policing.
Negative information or changes in circumstances that may impact on a person’s vetting clearance must be assessed to mitigate risk.
Vetting clearance will be rejected as a result of cautions and convictions — particularly if these relate to dishonesty, violence or targeting a vulnerable person because of protected characteristics — unless the person being vetted can prove otherwise.