The POLICE CODE OF CONDUCT is effectively a set of rules which govern how serving police officers should behave at all times. By breaking any of these rules they can be held accountable for misconduct.
Personally, I have never come across a single police officer that doesn’t break at least one of these rules within the first five minutes of speaking to them. The fact remains that you have every right to complain to the Professional Standard Department of any police constabulary if you feel an officer you have dealt with has breached any of these rules.
I urge you to do so whenever applicable. The only way we have of ridding ourselves of the lazy, arrogant, self-serving plastic plod we have today is to force them to up their game.
Here is the full list of the POLICE CODE OF CONDUCT as it appears in Police Conduct Regulations 2004 – SCHEDULE 1.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Honesty and integrity
1. It is of paramount importance that the public has faith in the honesty and integrity of police officers. Officers should therefore be open and truthful in their dealings; avoid being improperly beholden to any person or institution; and discharge their duties with integrity.
Fairness and impartiality
2. Police officers have a particular responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all their dealings with the public and their colleagues.
Politeness and tolerance
3. Officers should treat members of the public and colleagues with courtesy and respect, avoiding abusive or deriding attitudes or behaviour. In particular, officers must avoid: favouritism of an individual or group; all forms of harassment, victimisation or unreasonable discrimination; and overbearing conduct to a colleague, particularly to one junior in rank or service.
Use of force and abuse of authority
4. Officers must never knowingly use more force than is reasonable, nor should they abuse their authority.
Performance of duties
5. Officers should be conscientious and diligent in the performance of their duties. Officers should attend work promptly when rostered for duty. If absent through sickness or injury, they should avoid activities likely to retard their return to duty.
6. The police service is a disciplined body. Unless there is good and sufficient cause to do otherwise, officers must obey all lawful orders and abide by the provisions of legislation applicable to the police. Officers should support their colleagues in the execution of their lawful duties, and oppose any improper behaviour, reporting it where appropriate.
7. Information which comes into the possession of the police should be treated as confidential. It should not be used for personal benefit and nor should it be divulged to other parties except in the proper course of police duty. Similarly, officers should respect, as confidential, information about force policy and operations unless authorised to disclose it in the course of their duties.
8. Officers must report any proceedings for a criminal offence taken against them. Conviction of a criminal offence or the administration of a caution may of itself result in further action being taken.
9. Officers must exercise reasonable care to prevent loss or damage to property (excluding their own personal property but including police property).
10. Whilst on duty officers must be sober. Officers should not consume alcohol when on duty unless specifically authorised to do so or it becomes necessary for the proper discharge of police duty.
11. Unless on duties which dictate otherwise, officers should always be well turned out, clean and tidy whilst on duty in uniform or in plain clothes.
12. Whether on or off duty, police officers should not behave in a way which is likely to bring discredit upon the police service.
(a) The primary duties of those who hold the office of constable are the protection of life and property, the preservation of the Queen’s peace, and the prevention and detection of criminal offences. To fulfil these
duties they are granted extraordinary powers; the public and the police service therefore have the right to expect the highest standards of conduct from them.
(b) This Code sets out the principles which guide police officers’ conduct. It does not seek to restrict officers’ discretion: rather it aims to define the parameters of conduct within which that discretion should be exercised. However, it is important to note that any breach of the principles in this Code may result in action being taken by the organisation, which, in serious cases, could involve dismissal.
(c) Police behaviour, whether on or off duty, affects public confidence in the police service. Any conduct which brings or is likely to bring discredit to the police service may be the subject of sanction. Accordingly, any allegation of conduct which could, if proved, bring or be likely to bring discredit to the police service should be investigated in order to establish whether or not a breach of the Code has occurred and whether formal disciplinary action is appropriate. No investigation is required where the conduct, if proved, would not bring or would not be likely to bring, discredit to the police service.