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West Midlands Police Federation

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New conduct regulations go live on 1 February

15 January 2020

The Home Office overhaul of the police complaints and discipline process will come into effect on 1 February.

The new legislation will ‘shake up’ how complaints made against the police are handled and improve the discipline system for officers.

Under the new rules, there will be a requirement to provide an explanation where police misconduct investigations take longer than 12 months.

As well as simplifying the complaints system, the changes mean Police and Crime Commissioners will have a greater role to increase independence and improve complaints handling.

Policing and crime minister Kit Malthouse said: “The vast majority of our brilliant police are extremely professional, and standards remain high.

“When police forces fall short of these standards, it is important to have a system that can quickly establish what has gone wrong, hold officers to account where necessary and ensure lessons are learned.

“These reforms will deliver this and ensure the public can maintain confidence in the integrity of our world-class police.”

The changes aim to ensure that complaints can be dealt with quickly, effectively and proportionately, not just for the benefit of the public but also for the police.

The reforms aim to make the discipline system more proportionate and encourage a much greater emphasis on learning from mistakes.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for complaints and misconduct Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “We have listened very carefully to the views of officers, the public and everyone involved in the complaints process throughout this work. This package addresses the valid concerns over timeliness, accountability and proportionality and puts the focus on learning, reflection and fairness.

“There will be greater involvement for local supervisors and a move away from punishment and blame for lower level misconduct to a focus on learning and development.

“The huge majority of police officers serve the public to the highest standard. Society rightly expects the service to act with honesty and integrity and any instance of gross misconduct falling below that standard will continue to be dealt with robustly.”

The Home Office has worked with the NPCC, Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, staff associations and others to develop the improvements.


September 2020