Police officers who are violent towards women should be automatically dismissed, according to new guidance on misconduct proceedings.
The College of Policing’s new Guidance on outcomes in police misconduct hearings states that those overseeing misconduct hearings should consider the impact a police officer’s behaviour has on public confidence in policing.
Any violence against women and girls perpetrated by a police officer is likely to reflect a high degree of culpability, and should therefore result in dismissal, the guidance suggests.
Behaviours and culture within policing has come under national scrutiny following high profile cases including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.
Culture within policing
Last year, a Daily Mail investigation found that almost 1,000 police officers from across the UK had been investigated for posting offensive content on social media and messaging platforms, including racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynistic material.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct also urged the Met to overhaul its culture after finding officers at Charing Cross police station in London referred to a colleague as “mcrapey raperson”, while a male officer told a female officer that he would “happily rape you”.
The College of Policing’s guidance adds that it is imperative that policing makes it clear that violence against women and girls is wholly unacceptable.
Chief constable Andy Marsh, College of Policing CEO, said: “Officers who commit violence towards women and girls should expect to be sacked and barred from re-joining the police. There is no place in policing for anyone who behaves in a way that damages the public’s trust in us to keep them safe.
“Today’s new guidance helps bring common sense and consistency to a process that is crucial to maintaining public trust in police. We need a misconduct system which is transparent, timely and isn’t afraid to show the door to officers who betray our values.
“I know from more than 30 years in policing that the vast majority of officers are dedicated public servants who work hard every day to keep people safe. They do not wish to work alongside officers who commit crimes or impact the trust people have in us.”