Police Federation chairman slams ethics committee proposal (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Police Federation chairman slams ethics committee proposal
An official representing rank and file police officers has branded proposals for a committee to monitor the force's integrity as “insulting”.
Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston cited the “Plebgate” affair and recent revelations about the Hillsborough disaster and the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation as justifications for setting up the committee.
He said around half of its members would be independent and it should play an advisory role, meeting three to four times a year.
Mr Alston said: “It’s clear to me and my team that we need to develop a fresh approach to supporting the highest police standards in Essex.”
“Bringing people in from outside policing will be valuable and allow us to scrutinise and hold a mirror up to the force, with regards to behaviour.”
But Mark Smith, chairman of the Essex Police Federation, has slammed the proposal.
He said: “It’s insulting to officers.
“There is already enough in place to deal with the issue in the conduct regulations.
“He’s adding an extra level of bureaucracy and jumping on the current media band wagon of beating up police officers.”
Mr Smith also took exception to an excerpt from Mr Alston’s blog ‘The Importance of Integrity‘ which read: “I am confident that the creation of the Ethics and Integrity Committee will strengthen oversight of the police misconduct and discipline process and help inform the judgement of those responsible for deciding the appropriate sanctions for those found guilty of misconduct.”
Mr Smith added: “He either doesn’t know or has been poorly advised on the police’s conduct regulations.
“Our conduct is laid out by statute and we have very clear protocols which are followed in disciplinary action.
“Is he saying he will be advising those chairing the meeting as to what they should decide?”
He continued: “It is down to the Chief Constable to discipline officers.”