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Police Misconduct Hearings

Misconduct 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.

Cases of police officer misconduct may result in 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 in disciplinary cases arising from a complaint or a conduct matter to which part 2 of the Police Reform Act 2002 applies, are, from 2017, conducted by three people:

  1. an independent legally qualified chair, who satisfies the judicial appointment eligibility, and has had no previous dealings with the incident or with the investigation.
  2. 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 concerned)
  3. an independent lay person selected from an approved list held by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Detail of upcoming hearings will be published with at least five days’ notice on the Devon and Cornwall Police website.

Any member of the public or press wishing to attend a misconduct hearing may apply to do so. Attendance at the hearings is limited and can be booked by application through the Devon and Cornwall Police website