The Government announced changes to the way police misconduct hearings are to be run in August 2023 and as a result, the composition of the people who sit on the hearing panels is changing.
The changes mean that, from May 2024 Chief Constables will have increased powers to terminate the employment of police officers found guilty of gross misconduct. Sitting along side them on the new format panels will be two independent panel members (IPMs) where previously only one was required.
This means the organisation responsible for running the panels and holding the Chief Constable to account – the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner – is recruiting up to 16 new independent panel members to be part of these far-reaching changes.
The subject of police misconduct has been the focus of much media attention following several nationally high-profile cases. Avon and Somerset Police is also the focus of the current Channel 4 ‘To Catch A Copper’ documentary which has shone a light on police misconduct and the way it has been dealt with in the past.
The new IPM roles do not require legal expertise but instead are inviting people to apply with experience in areas such as senior leadership, compliance, and HR and people management. The roles are voluntary on a part time basis but are paid according to the number of hearings per year.
Hearings usually take place over five days and each panel member is likely to sit on approximately three hearings per year over a five-year term.
Commenting on the recruitment search, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, Mark Shelford said: “These roles are vital to ensuring a robust process for the way issues of misconduct are handled. The objective views of our panel members in reaching decisions which impact the public and the region’s police officers and their colleagues are fundamental to restoring trust and confidence in policing.”
“While only a very small minority of police officers behave in ways which fall foul of the high expectations we put on them, we will not tolerate any behaviours within police ranks which is detrimental to the people of Avon and Somerset.”
Further information on these roles can be found here.
Apply before 21 February here: Independent Panel Member – Misconduct Hearings (talosats-careers.com)