Police Law Blog European Decisions Statutory Materials

Government considers making police misconduct hearings public

The Government is considering proposals to open police misconduct hearings to the public. Presently the usual rule is that police misconduct hearings are held in private, pursuant to regulation 32 of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008.

The Times reported on 15 October 2012 that Police Minister Damien Green was “pressing for police disciplinary hearings to be held in public” and that when he was asked whether this applied to all hearings Mr Green responded:

“It goes across the board. So whether Independent Police Complainants Commission hearings should be more often in public is one issues that we will be considering.”

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this move, designed to increase the public confidence in policing through greater transparency and accountability, would make the police the only profession whose internal disciplinary hearings are heard in public.