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Policing and Ethics Panels… are they really working?

Every Police force across the U.K. has a code of ethics and a panel to go with it.

They meet every six weeks and talk about ethics within policing. These panels expect the highest standards of behaviour and conduct from the police officers and staff within the force.

Surely these code of ethics should also be a reflection and followed by those independent people who sit on these panels.

They expect the highest standards from those officers, but we as members of the public should also expect the highest standards of behaviour from those who sit within these panels.

We should expect these standards to be adhered to within everyday life and within the online social media world. After all if the code of ethics panels cannot adhere to these basic standards how can we expect others too.

What are the code of ethics?

The Code of Ethics is a code of practice for the principles and standards of behaviour that applies to the police service in England and Wales.

The code of ethics applies to anyone working on behalf of the police service which actually also includes those members of the panels which in some cases don’t seem to follow their own ethics.

We expect from those who are working within the police service as a basic. .

  • Acting with honesty and integrity, fairness and impartiality.
  • Treating members of the public and their colleagues with respect.
  • Not abusing their powers and authority.
  • Acting in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service.

Making Ethical Decisions

The Code of Ethics promotes the use of the National Decision Model (NDM) to help embed ethical reasoning in accordance with policing principles and expected standards of behaviour.

The model allows people to be more questioning of the situations confronting them, more challenging of themselves and better able to make ethical and effective decisions.

The model places the Code of Ethics at the centre of all decision making.

This reminds those in the policing profession that they should consider the principles and expected standards of behaviour set out in the Code at every stage of making decisions.

The NDM is inherently exible. It can be applied to spontaneous incidents or planned operations, by an individual or teams of people, and to operational and non-operational situations.

It can also be expanded as appropriate for specialist and other areas of policing. The NDM also works well for reviewing and debrie ng decisions and actions.

In every case the elements of the NDM stay the same, but users decide for themselves which questions and considerations they apply at

each stage.

Understanding, practising and using the NDM helps people develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make ethical, proportionate and defensible decisions in all policing situations.

In a fast-moving incident, the main priority of decision makers is to keep in mind the principles and standards set out in the Code of Ethics.

You are not expected to know the Code of Ethics word for word. What is expected is that you apply the intent of the Code to your decisions and ask yourself questions such as:

• Is my decision in line with the principles and expected behaviours outlined in the Code of Ethics?

• Will this action or decision re ect well on my professionalism and policing generally?

• Would I be comfortable explaining this action or decision to my supervisor?

• Would I be prepared to defend this action or decision in public?

Independent Ethical Panels

We understand the value that ethics panels add to all levels of the police service but do they add anything to policing? Are they just talking and achieving nothing? Some would say they are an invaluable resource.

It could be argued that some members of these independent ethical panels aren’t adhering to the values of the purpose of the ethical panels, some are publicly acting in a way to deliberately undermine public confidence in the police service to achieve and follow their own agenda publicly targeting police officers and members of the public in a way that is verging on the boundaries of Harassment and malicious communications all in the name of Ethical policing.

These members are going unchallenged because they believe they are simply above the law when it comes to Ethical Policing and we have to questions the motives for these people wanting to be on Ethical Panels.

Members of these panels are not acting honestly, with integrity, fairness and impartiality these panels.

So we would question the direct ethics of these ethical policing panels.

And ask ourselves are they worth the money spent on them?

Do they just create problems that don’t exist? Are they overthinking the whole thing?

Or are they adding value to the service, valuable change and meaningful discussions?

We know that many members of Ethical Panels are adhering to these standards and do have the right intentions but it is now your challenge to ensure other members no longer go unchecked.

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