25 November 2021
Leicestershire Police Federation Chair Adam Commons reacts to the NPCC trying to turn misconduct hearings into ‘kangaroo courts’
In his keynote speech at the APCC & NPCC Partnership Summit 2021, NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt told delegates it has asked all chief constables to chair more accelerated hearings, “wherever the grounds are met, to swiftly determine the facts”, and to make submissions to Legally Qualified Chairs “wherever appropriate, so that sanctions always meet the gravity of an offence.”
Chiefs have also been advised by the NPCC to seek judicial reviews where dismissal is not the outcome, and it wants the College of Policing guidance amended. The Federation believes this is to influence dismissals and hamstring panels.
Reacting, Adam said: “I’m concerned to see the NPCC making announcements around police misconduct hearings without going through the correct routes. We have a system in place that, although not perfect, works. The LQC’s are independent and that is how it should remain.
“If a Chief Officer has the ability to make suggestions as to what outcome should come from a hearing it removes any rights to my colleagues for a fair hearing where the evidence is heard and considered.
“The NPCC have also suggested that Chief Constables seek to bring Judicial Reviews when an officer is not dismissed. You can’t have your cake and eat it. The conduct process is in place to effectively investigate complaints and misconduct fairly.
“If Chief’s are going to try and influence dismissals in this way we have some dark days ahead, this is not how you run a modern police service by dictating what you want to happen regardless of what evidence there is.”