Today the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) published the results of the largest integrity screening project ever undertaken in policing, with more than 307,000 officers, staff and volunteers checked against the Police National Database.
Police Federation of England and Wales National Chair, Steve Hartshorn, commented on the results: “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.
"As Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, Chair of the NPCC, rightly points out, this should give ‘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.'"