Police Federation

PFEW responds to Home Office announcement to reform police accountability systems

National Chair Steve Hartshorn says amendments to processes are needed and overdue.

21 March 2024


Reacting to today's announcement, Police Federation of England and Wales National Chair Steve Hartshorn, said: "The announcement today of reforms to the police accountability system are needed and overdue. 

"At the heart of these reforms to the existing process is a drive to speed up and streamline investigations into officers suspected of committing offences.

"We have, via our Time Limits campaign, been fighting for a 12-month limit on all disciplinary investigations into alleged misconduct. At a time where police officers are under pressure like never before, they must have confidence in the systems that underpin their work protecting our communities and we hope this is a step towards a new relationship with these systems.

"Protracted disciplinary investigations ruin the careers of many officers, leaving a mark on their mental health, and put immense pressure on their home lives and loved ones. It is clear the effects are devastating for all.

"We do note the amendment to the threshold for referring police officers for criminal prosecution, so that only cases that have a reasonable prospect of conviction should be referred - as is already the test for members of the public suspected of committing a crime - and await further details.

"We look forward to working constructively with Rachel Watson, the new Director General of the Independent Office of Police Conduct, in helping reform and overhauling any processes that are found to be inadequate and impede the streamlining of the current processes."

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