Find out about misconduct hearings involving Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) officers and how to attend these public 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 ; 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.
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: Sergeant 2589 Paul Andrew Simon Gooding and Constable 4317 Daniel Parsley
Alleged conduct (and PSPBs breached):
It is alleged that on various occasions between May and July 2017, PC Parsley made comments which were demeaning to LGBT people and to women. The officer’s conduct is alleged to have breached the Police Standards of Professional Behaviour of Authority, Respect and Courtesy, Equality and Diversity and Discreditable Conduct.
It is alleged that between September 2016 and October 2017, PS Gooding inappropriately raised the sexual orientation of a fellow officer to other officers in an unwanted, inappropriate and/or offensive manner. In addition, PS Gooding failed to challenge the improper conduct of PC PARSLEY. The officer’s conduct is alleged to have breached the Police Standards of Professional Behaviour of Authority, Respect and Courtesy, Equality and Diversity, Confidentiality, Discreditable Conduct and Challenging and Reporting Improper Conduct.
Date: Monday 8 to Friday 12 October 2018
Time: 1000 hrs (8 October 2018) and 0900 hrs (9 to 12 October 2018). Please arrive 30 minutes prior to commencement of the Hearing.
Venue: MDPHQ, MDP Wethersfield, Braintree, Essex, CM7 4AZ
Applications to attend to be received by: Monday 1 October 2018 (please use registration form above)
Previous misconduct hearings and outcomes
Alleged conduct (and PSPBs breached):