Guidance

Ministry of Defence Police: misconduct hearings

Find out about misconduct hearings involving Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) officers and how to attend these public hearings.

Misconduct hearings

To increase openness and transparency in the MDP (and the police service in general), misconduct hearings and special case hearings involving Police Officers are held in public.

Misconduct hearings deal with allegations of gross misconduct committed by MDP officers on or off duty. Gross misconduct is defined as ‘a breach of the police standards of professional behaviour (PSPB) which is so serious that dismissal would be justified’. Misconduct hearings form part of the disciplinary process and are not criminal proceedings.

The decision to hold hearings in public was announced by the Home Secretary in 2015. This necessitated an amendment to the Ministry of Defence Police (Conduct etc.) Regulations 2015, which came into effect for all cases where an officer was given notice to attend a misconduct hearing after 1 March 2017.

This change of legislation does not affect misconduct meetings, where a breach of PSPB does not amount to gross misconduct. These proceedings will be held in private and the public have no right to observe (except in the case of a complainant or the commission, where appropriate).

What happens at a misconduct hearing

At a misconduct hearing the facts are heard by a panel, often with the help of witnesses, to enable a finding to be made. If an officer is found to have committed gross misconduct, depending on the circumstances, the available outcomes are:

  • dismissal (with or without notice)
  • final written warning
  • written warning
  • management advice
  • no further action

Officers dismissed from the force may also be placed on the Disapproved Register. This prevents them from gaining further employment as a police officer with any other force in the UK.

Attending a misconduct hearing

Any member of the public or press can request to attend a misconduct hearing, provided that they are aged 18 or over.

When the date of a misconduct hearing is confirmed, the details will be published below. Due to the MDP being a national force the location of the misconduct hearing may vary (dependent upon the case).

Please note the following conditions of entry:

  • any member of the public or press wishing to attend must register in advance, by the specified closing date, and using the MDP misconduct hearing registration form (MS Word Document, 39.6KB) ; they must also provide valid photo identification (e.g. passport/driving licence) upon attendance
  • any person who is a witness at the proceedings will not be permitted to attend prior to giving their evidence but, may be permitted to take a seat in the public gallery after this time
  • priority will be given to interested parties and attendance will then be granted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis (up to the capacity of the venue)
  • any restrictions on reporting will be notified in advance of the hearing
  • members of the public and press are to remain silent at all times whilst the hearing is in session
  • no photographs, film or sound recording are permitted; mobile phones and other devices can be retained but must be switched off during the hearing
  • any conditions particular to an individual hearing will be published on this page in advance of the hearing
  • where a hearing is adjourned for an extended period, attendees may be expected to leave the premises and return at the appointed time; if the hearing is held within an MOD establishment members of the public and press will be escorted from the gate to the venue and back; they will not be permitted to leave the venue except to leave the establishment
  • no food or refreshments, with the exclusion of water, will be permitted in the hearing room; however, an area will be set aside for use by members of the public when the panel adjourn for short periods of time
  • no refreshments will be provided by the MDP and if held at an MOD establishment, there may be no facilities to purchase food; in this instance attendees should be self sufficient
  • we cannot reimburse any expenses you incur by attending and please note that in some cases a hearing may be cancelled at short notice; in these situations we will do our best to notify you but, it may not be possible
  • members of the public and press, together with any bags, will be subject to a security search as a condition of entry and exit; anything that can be used or adapted to cause injury or damage will not be permitted

If you require disabled access, or have any other reasonable adjustment requirements, please advise us of your requirements on your registration form.

Once all applications to attend have been received and reviewed (after the closing date), your attendance will be confirmed, as applicable, by the means identified on your registration form.

Private hearings

Please note: in exceptional circumstances, the Chair can exclude anyone from all or part of the hearing at his/her discretion and may impose conditions relating to the attendance of any person.

Should the Secretary of State for Defence consider it expedient in the interests of national security, he/she may also give direction that:

  • all or part of the hearing must be conducted in private
  • a specified person must be excluded from all or part of the hearing
  • specific steps are taken to conceal the identity of a witness
  • specific information must be excluded from the published notification of misconduct hearings or notification of outcome

If a decision is made to hold a hearing in private the reasons will be published below and, where conditions are placed on any person’s attendance, that person will be notified prior to commencement of the hearing.

Details and outcomes of misconduct hearings

Details of forthcoming misconduct hearings and outcomes of previous misconduct hearings will be published below. The outcome will be published for a period of up to 28 days, commencing 7 to 12 working days from the conclusion of the misconduct proceedings.

Forthcoming misconduct hearings

Subject officer:
Alleged conduct (and PSPBs breached):
Date:
Time: Venue:
Applications to attend to be received by:
(Please use registration form above.)

Previous misconduct hearings and outcomes

Subject officer(s):
Date:
Alleged conduct (and PSPBs breached):
Finding:
Outcome:

Published 12 June 2017
Last updated 24 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added hearing outcome.
  2. Updated information on the hearing on 11 to 13 October 2017. Applications to attend this hearing have closed.
  3. Added updated misconduct hearing registration form.
  4. Added links to the Ministry of Defence Police (Conduct, Performance and Appeals Tribunals) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, the Ministry of Defence Police (Conduct etc.) Regulations 2015, and the Ministry of Defence Police Appeals Tribunals Regulations 2009.
  5. Added forthcoming misconduct hearing.
  6. First published.