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Wanted: Legally-qualified chairs for police misconduct hearings

The five PCCs from the East Midlands Region have launched a recruitment process to appoint qualified lawyers to chair Police Misconduct Hearings.

The move follows a change in police conduct regulations which will see legally qualified chairs replace police-trained chairs from 1 January 2016 as part of a goal to increase transparency and confidence in the system.

Police Misconduct Panels (PMPs) hear cases involving allegations of misconduct by police officers which could include allegations of criminality, serious road traffic matters or serious breaches of the standards expected of a police officer. The maximum sanction at a hearing is dismissal from the police service without notice.

Police Misconduct Panels can be convened in any one of the five police areas in the East Midlands Region which comprises of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

To comply with the new rules, Police and Crime Commissioners across the region are seeking to recruit a minimum of 10 legally qualified chairs to preside over hearings held in each of the counties.

Chairs will be selected from the list of appointed persons and will preside over misconduct hearings for non-senior police officers and Special Constables.

Commenting on the new system, Derbyshire’s Commissioner Alan Charles who is Chair of the East Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Board, said: “The changes that come into force in January bring additional openness and transparency to the police disciplinary system which is vital in maintaining public confidence in our police service.

“Appointing qualified lawyers to the role of chair across the five counties provides an enhanced level of independence to the system and reassures local people that serious allegations against police officers are dealt with robustly and effectively.”

Chairs will be appointed on a four-year term and will receive numeration on a daily rate. Successful candidates will receive appropriate training.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate legal experience/qualifications, integrity, sound judgement, objectivity and a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.  

PMPs consist of three people, usually the chair, a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above and an independent member from the list of candidates maintained by PCCs for the purposes of the regulations.

The chair’s responsibilities will include reviewing papers, making pre-hearing decisions on whether witnesses should be called to give evidence during the hearing and to ensure that those parties who are not represented are able to present their case and have it considered fully and fairly. They will also determine if the hearing will be held in public.

It is expected that chairs will deal with three to four cases a year however volumes will vary.

Candidates should have prior experience of chairing meetings and the ability to exercise control over proceedings, experience of evaluating evidence, experience of reporting writing and writing up deliberations, decisions or case notes and excellent communication skills. 

The closing date for applications is 12 October 2015 and interviews will be scheduled for week commencing 16 November 2015.

For more information and an application pack visit:

 

www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk

www.leics.pcc.police.uk

www.lincolnshire-pcc.gov.uk

www.northantspcc.org.uk

www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk

 

Ends

 

Media enquiries:  Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Wednesday 23rd September 2015
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