Correspondence

Circular: changes to the police complaints and misconduct systems and the PAT rules

Home Office circular 001/2012

Document

Addendum to guidance for Metropolitan Police Service (PDF file - 227kb)

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Detail

Home Office circular 001/2012

Changes to the police complaints and misconduct systems and the PAT rules

  • Broad subject: Police service
  • Issue date: Mon Jan 30 00:00:00 GMT 2012
  • From:
    Crime and policing group, policing directorate, police transparency unit
  • Linked circulars:

Relates to Home Office circular:

025/2008 The Taylor Reforms - police conduct, perormance and associated regulations

026/2008 Home Office guidance on police unsatisfactory performance and misconduct procedures

  • Copies sent to:
    Independent Police Complaints Comission

  • Sub category: Police complaints
  • Implementation date: Mon Jan 16 00:00:00 GMT 2012
  • For more info contact:

Steve Newby

  • Addressed to:
    Chief officers of police, Police Authority chief executives Mayor’s office for policing and crime

Purpose

The purpose of this circular is to inform you of new legislation and associated guidance that came into force on 16 January 2012 and which makes changes to the police complaints system, the police misconduct system and the Police Appeals Tribunals rules in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Area. 

Introduction

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility (PRSR) Act 2011 makes changes to the governance arrangements for policing in England and Wales, with the exception of the City of London police area. The act abolishes the police authorities responsible for maintaining police forces outside London and replaces them with directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs). The act also abolishes the Metropolitan Police Authority and replaces it with the Mayor’s office for policing and crime (MOPC).

Some of the new arrangements set out in the PRSR Act 2011 and associated changes contained in secondary legislation came into force in the MPS area on January 16th 2012.  These include changes to the police complaints system, the police misconduct system and the Police Appeals Tribunals rules. The relevant pieces of secondary legislation are the:

  • Police (Complaints and Misconduct) (Amendment: Metropolitan Police) Regulations 2011
  • Police (Performance and Conduct) (Amendment: Metropolitan Police) Regulations 2011
  • Police Appeals Tribunals (Amendment: Metropolitan Police) Rules 2011 

There are no changes to the police complaints system, police misconduct system and Police Appeals Tribunals rules outside of the MPS area until November 2012 when PCCs will be elected.  Changes to the police complaints system, police misconduct system and Police Appeals Tribunals rules outside the MPS area, and further changes to the arrangements within the MPS area, will be brought in for November 2012 through separate secondary legislation.  

Changes (legislation)

Police (Complaints and Misconduct) (Amendment: Metropolitan Police) Regulations 2011

The regulations reflect the fact that the PRSR Act 2011 makes the MOPC the appropriate authority responsible for dealing with complaints and conduct matters in relation to the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and a person acting as Commissioner. The Commissioner is now responsible for dealing with allegations against the other senior officers of the MPS as well as all other officers in the MPS. 

Police (Performance and Conduct) (Amendment: Metropolitan Police) Regulations 2011

The regulations have the effect that the MOPC is now the appropriate authority responsible for dealing with allegations of misconduct against the Commissioner and certain senior officers of the MPS exercising the functions of the Commissioner. The Commissioner is now responsible for dealing with allegations against other officers, including senior officers.

The regulations mean that misconduct proceedings or special case hearings concerning senior officers of the MPS will now be conducted by a panel consisting of a legally-qualified chair, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary or one of his inspectors, and a person selected from a list maintained for these purposes. 

The panel conducting the misconduct proceedings or special case hearing, in a case where the officer concerned is a senior officer of the MPS, will now make a finding of fact as to whether or not the officer is guilty of misconduct or gross misconduct. They will then remit the matter to the appropriate authority for a decision as to the action to be taken against the officer.

The regulations also make transitional provision to ensure the continuing validity of anything done in an ongoing appeal under the 2004 and 2008 Conduct Regulations prior to the changes made by these regulations in relation to the identity of the appropriate authority, the composition of the panel conducting misconduct proceedings or special case hearings, and the process for taking the final decision as to disciplinary action. 

Police Appeals Tribunals (Amendment: Metropolitan Police) Rules 2011

The regulations have the effect that references to a police authority in the 1999 Rules apply to the MOPC.

The regulations also have the effect that the MOPC, as police authority, will designate a person to act as respondent only in cases where the appellant is the Commissioner. In cases where the appellant is a senior officer of the MPS below the rank of Commissioner, the respondent will now be the Commissioner. Action taken by a person designated by a police authority as respondent remains valid when the person is replaced as respondent by the chief officer of police.

Changes (guidance)

An addendum to the Home Office guidance on police officer misconduct, unsatisfactory performance and attendance management procedures has been produced to reflect changes in the MPS area to the police misconduct system and Police Appeals Tribunals rules. This addendum, which has been approved by the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales, is attached. This contains a section on transitional arrangements. New consolidated guidance will be produced in November 2012.

Attachments

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