POLICE ACT 1996 & CODE OF CONDUCT
Police Act 1996
Section 204 A police constable who deliberately fails to carry out his duties by wilfully omitting to take steps to preserve the Queens peace or protect a person under attack or arrest his assailant commits the common law offence of misconduct of an officer of justice.
Section 384 The primary duties of those who hold the office of constable are the protection of life and property, the preservation of the Queens peace and the prevention and detection of criminal offences.
Section 68 Where a complaint about the conduct of a senior officer a) is submitted to the appropriate authority, or b) is sent to the appropriate authority under section 67(3), the appropriate authority shall record and, subject to subsection (2), investigate it.
Section 69 (1) If a chief officer of police determines that he is the appropriate authority in relation to a member of the police force a) whose conduct is the subject of a complaint, and b) who is not a senior officer, he shall record the complaint. (5) If it appears to the chief officer of police that the complaint is not suitable for informal resolution, he shall appoint a member of his own or some other force to investigate it formally.
Police Code of
Conduct The Code sets out the following
Honesty and Integrity Officers should therefore be open
and truthful in their dealings; avoid being improperly beholden to any
person or institution; and discharge their duties with integrity.
(2) Fairness and impartiality Police officers have a particular responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all their dealings with the public and their colleagues.
(3) Politeness and tolerance In particular, officers must avoid: favouritism of an individual or group; all forms of harassment, victimisation or unreasonable discrimination.
(4) Use of force and abuse of authority Officers must never knowingly use more force than is reasonable, nor should they abuse their authority.
(7) Confidentiality Information which comes into the possession of the police should be treated as confidential.
(9) Property Officers must exercise reasonable care to prevent loss or damage to property.
However, the Police are funded by the Council and frequently build up cosy relationships with local council officers, hence in effect they will be investigating a fellow officer. Additionally, the Police do not regard this form of crime as a high priority. It appears our government has directed the Police accordingly. In any event our government is ultimately responsible, but declines to take action - this despite the recommendations of Lord Nolan and the Nolan Committee report: Standards in Public Life.
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With thanks to the Wealden Action Group and other Action Groups across the country for the supply of real case history and supporting documents.
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