Although recent reports have found that corruption is not endemic in the police, these reports have nevertheless made recommendations for improving police integrity and ensuring consistency in standards of professional behaviour across forces. A number of high-profile cases over the past few years have also demonstrated the need for action.
On 22 October 2012, during the debate on the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, the Home Secretary undertook to return to the House of Commons to announce her plans to strengthen police integrity. On 12 February she made a statement outlining a package of measures.
Working with the police
Ministers and officials have been working with colleagues in ACPO, HMIC, the College of Policing, the National Crime Agency, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission to identify a package of measures to deal with this issue. We have also had discussions with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and with the Police Federation, the Police Superintendents’ Association and Unison.
The integrity package
The integrity package set out in the Home Secretary’s statement is as follows:
- Publishing national registers of gifts and hospitality, interests and second jobs
- Making the total financial reward package accepted by chief officers visible online
- Introducing a new code of ethics, and embedding a single set of professional standards in force practice and throughout officers' careers
- Publishing a 'struck-off' list of officers who have been dismissed for misconduct
- Introducing a sanction for officers resigning during misconduct proceedings by ensuring such proceedings are taken to conclusion – proven misconduct will result in officers going on the struck-off list
- Establishing a stronger and more consistent system of vetting
- Equipping the IPCC to investigate independently all serious and sensitive allegations
We will continue to work closely with the police and other partners in planning the implementation of these measures. They will make a significant contribution to the ongoing programme of police reform and to further professionalisation of policing.