This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Code of Ethics consultation

Just clocked that the College of Policing Code of Ethics consultation closes today. I meant to have responded sooner. Still I managed to squeak in these comments:
  • I challenged the idea that the code places greater expectations on those in senior positions. In my view ethical standards are for all and by stratifying the code in this way, this suggests otherwise. Everyone working in the police service is a leader.
  • With regard to "I will act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy" I think this sentence is the wrong way around. This wording suggests that only through self-control and tolerance can people be treated with respect and courtesy. I would reverse the sentence and put a full stop between the two parts: I will treat members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy. I will act with self-control and tolerance.
  • The overall summary needs more mention of outcomes: the aims of the police service e.g. "I will work towards building communities that are safe, just and secure for all who live in them" (or something like)
  • The summary also needs to include the phrase "Human Rights", not just rights
  • There is also no mention of evidence based practice: the cornerstone of the College of Policing and progressive policing practice. This needs to be rectified in my view. I would place a statement under working diligently perhaps so that police officers and staff are encouraged to do only that which works.
  • The police service deals with very vulnerable, often damaged and frequently very scared people in situations where power is a significant factor. I am concerned that the statement beginning "do not use your professional position to establish or pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship..." does not go far enough. Clinicians can be 'struck off' for having a relationship with their patients. I think something similar should apply in the police service as well.
I probably could have said more. But time ran out on me. It would have been helpful if the pdf file had been saved to allow for copying and pasting too! That was poor consultation practice in my opinion. 

Meanwhile, when was the last time you had a training/development session on ethical practice? Often staff get their annual briefing on health & safety and other such matters. Does ethics ever figure? 

Should it?

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