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Gwent Police Federation

Fed chair hopes screening results will help rebuild public's trust

24 January 2024

Gwent Police Federation chair Matthew Candy hopes the results of the largest integrity screening project undertaken in policing will help rebuild the public’s confidence and trust.

Matthew was commenting after the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) checked the records of 307,452 police officers, staff and volunteers against the Police National Database (PND) - a data store of operational policing information and intelligence provided by individual forces.

In Gwent, 1,510 officers, 1,055 staff, and 313 volunteers were screened. The data showed that one officer and one volunteer required a vetting clearance review, and two staff members were the subject of management intervention or other action.

Matthew said: “This was the biggest integrity screening project carried out in policing and it’s reassuring that the vast majority of officers, staff and volunteers are not only fit for the job, but have been assessed to be so.

 

 

“There’s no room in policing for bad officers, and I’m sure our members will agree, so it’s important that we’re not complacent.

“But this project shows that our members are doing everything they can to build relationships, and to serve and protect the public with integrity.

“And while they’ve been under the spotlight like never before, I hope the results will help rebuild any confidence that the public may have lost.”

Nationally, 461 of the 307,452 people screened were referred to an appropriate authority and of these, nine triggered further criminal investigation; 88 triggered disciplinary investigation; 139 triggered vetting clearance; 128 triggered management intervention and 97 required no further action.

Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair said: “The cross checking of records on such a large scale was a significant task which shows our commitment right across policing to identify those who do not meet the high standards expected.

“I hope that it gives further reassurance to communities, and to colleagues in policing, that the overwhelming majority of the workforce can be trusted, and that if you are involved in wrongdoing, there is no place to hide.”

Steve Hartshorn, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), called on the NPCC to conduct this work every year.

He said: “This news from the National Police Chiefs’ Council comes as a positive, reassuring sign that the overwhelming majority of police officers, staff and volunteers are fit for the job and have been assessed to be so.

"For effective policing we need the confidence of the public, so such a large-scale nationwide exercise, reported openly will go further to rebuilding confidence in policing.

“Public trust can only be won by carrying out such exercises and being seen to do so. 

“Transparency is key, and so it is reassuring to see that less than 0.15 per cent of records highlighted needed referral to an appropriate authority, and with one fifth of these needing no further action; but this is still too high, and we must continue to root out those who are unfit to serve the public.

"This is why I call on the NPCC to conduct this work every year so that those who do not deserve to be in policing know they have no place to hide, they will be identified, and action will be taken.

“This work is vital to our reputation and our future, and will go on to reassure the public that they can depend on us and trust the officers, volunteers and police staff that they come into contact with.”

READ MORE: Members urged to register for free Roads Policing Seminar.