Police Misconduct Meetings and Hearings
Misconduct meetings and hearings are held where it has been determined that a police officer or special constable has a case to answer in respect of his or her conduct.
A misconduct meeting is held for cases where there is a case to answer in respect of misconduct and where the maximum outcome would be a final written warning. The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner in misconduct meetings is to provide a legally qualified Chair and an independent member for the meeting, where a senior police officer has a case to answer in respect of his or her conduct.
A misconduct hearing is held for cases where there is a case to answer in respect of gross misconduct (or where there are other relevant sanctions in place at the time), and the maximum outcome would be dismissal from the police service without notice. The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner in misconduct hearings is to provide a legally qualified Chair, and an independent member for the hearing.
Cases of police officer misconduct may result in misconduct hearings that can be attended by the public, including the media. The legally qualified chair will make a decision on whether the hearing will be held in public, in private or part public/private and wherever possible will state why.
The purpose of a misconduct hearing being held in public is to show that the Police disciplinary system is open and transparent and that officers are held accountable for their actions, which will provide assurance to the community that allegations of misconduct are treated seriously, and that misconduct proceedings are properly conducted and adjudicated.
Panels for misconduct hearings are conducted by three people:
- an independent legally qualified chair, who satisfies the judicial appointment eligibility, and has had no previous dealings with the incident or with the investigation, selected from an approved list held by the Police and Crime Commissioner (or for senior officers may be selected from the approved list of chairs for Police Appeals Tribunals held by the Home Office).
- a member of a police force of the rank of superintendent or above (provided the member is of a more senior rank than the officer subject to the hearing, and for senior officers this will be Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabularly, or an inspector of constabularly duly nominated by them).
- an independent lay person selected from an approved list held by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Details of upcoming misconduct hearings are published with at least five days’ notice on the Devon and Cornwall Police website.
Where a hearing is to be held wholly or partly in public, any member of the public or press wishing to attend may apply to do so. Attendance at the hearings is limited and can be booked by application through the Devon and Cornwall Police website