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Dorset Police signs up to new Code of Ethics

The College of Policing Code of Ethics has been launched today. 

As one of the major policing reforms, it defines the exemplary standards of behaviour for all officers and staff to use in their everyday jobs.

It sets out nine policing principles and 10 standards of professional behaviour and encourages officers and staff to challenge those who fall short of the code.

The Code of Ethics will be adopted by everyone within Dorset Police and will become a Code of Practice under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: “Today Dorset Police has formally adopted the Code of Ethics and it is something all officers and staff are expected to sign up to and adhere to in their everyday work.

“The Code of Ethics is about self-awareness, ensuring that everyone in policing is empowered to always do the right thing and feel confident to challenge colleagues irrespective of their rank, role or position.

“It is important that the Force Values still exist and they are at the heart of the implementation of the code.

“To ensure chartered professional status there are three things that the service must do. The first is the continued professional development of staff to ensure the service we provide is of the highest standards. The second is that independent decisions can be made at all levels in the organisations and the third is a Code of Ethics.

“All three things are required to secure a chartered professional status and the Code of Ethics is the final strand to enable the service to achieve this.”

College of Policing Chair, Professor Dame Shirley Pearce, said: “Ethical behaviour comes from the values, beliefs, attitudes and knowledge that guide the judgements of each individual person. No one can prescribe or command what constitutes ethical behaviour for all the situations that those working in policing encounter. People working in policing have to make judgements and complex choices.

“We can, as the professional body for policing, make clear the principles that we expect to guide the decisions that those in policing make in everything they do. We can also make it clear what happens when those expectations are not met. That is what we do in this College of Policing's Code of Ethics."

The emphasis of the Code of Ethics is on what good policing looks like and how ethical police officers and staff behave, rather than on managing misconduct.

In developing and delivering the Code of Ethics, the College worked with representatives of the Police Federation, the Superintendents' Association, Association of Chief Police Officers, UNISON and Police and Crime Commissioners.

National policing lead on professional ethics, Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer, said: “Chief officers welcome the publication of the Code of Ethics. It describes the behaviours that the public should expect and see from their police service and that the vast majority of our police officers and police staff already display.

“The police service has demonstrated its willingness to adopt the Code of Ethics by introducing supporting activities such as the list of dismissed officers, Ethics Committees and a number of revised national policies governing hospitality, expenses and contact with the media.

“There is clearly more work to be done to ensure that we are as transparent and open as possible, so that the public can have confidence in their police service and we can demonstrate that we deal robustly with breaches of our professional standards and constantly seek to learn and improve.”

For more information visit http://www.college.police.uk/.

ISSUED: 24 April 2014