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.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Policing & ethical practice research (update)

Just a quick update on progress of my FoI inquiry into ethical practice in the police service. Prompted by the ending of the College of Policing consultation on a new Code of Ethics, just over a month ago, I wrote to all the police services in the UK (with a couple of exceptions) about the approach they are taking to the development of ethical practice.

The blog post where I published my FoI set of questions is here.

I have had a eight back so far (thank you!). The deadline for responding for the rest, I think, is tomorrow (if I have calculated the 20 working days plus bank holidays correctly). I plan on doing the analysis over the course of this coming week.

Headlines so far from these eight responses?
  • Almost all the eight responding forces want to claim a 'yes' in answer to my first question (Do officers and staff undergo any regular programmed briefing/training/development in ethical practice?) but their answers betray a 'no' since there are no regular sessions for development programmed in. Most have cited ethical practice being covered in the introductory training but very little beyond. 
  • On the other hand, most frontline operational staff get a first aid booster once a year of about half a day. Health & Safety is a more mixed picture. 
  • About half the respondents say that ethical practice is embedded in their recruitment & promotion processes by dint of using the police leadership competency model (which includes integrity). The other half misunderstood the question or gave an answer which suggested that ethics were not integrated into such processes. 
  • Whistleblowing numbers (question 8) range from 10 to 158, with half of the respondents saying they do not have such data. 
One police service came back with the query:
The department who will be providing the information have asked for clarification on what you mean by ‘ethical practise’. Please can you specify what your interpretation of the term is, so we can identify if it falls under a slightly different category?
I replied suggesting that they look at the CoP Code of Ethics. (Although to be fair, I did unfortunately interchange 'code of ethics' with 'code of practice' at one point in my set of questions. This could have resulted in some confusion.)

So, if you interested to know more, please watch this space!

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