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College publishes guidance on misconduct hearings

New guidance on misconduct hearings published by the College of Policing is too loaded towards the dismissal of officers, according to the Federation's national conduct lead.

But Phill Matthews has pledged to work with the college and other stakeholders to ensure a fair, proportionate and transparent disciplinary system is developed.

The new guidance is said to be aimed at making misconduct hearings more fair and consistent for officers.

As part of assessing the seriousness of cases, misconduct panels will consider, among other things, the officer's record, culpability for the misconduct, the harm caused, aggravating factors and mitigation.

The guidance does not, however, over-ride the discretion of those presiding and it cannot prescribe the outcome.

Phill explained: "We were consulted on the draft guidance and made a number of representations on a range of issues. Broadly, in its present format, we found the guidance too loaded towards the presumption of the dismissal of officers. We believe decisions should be focussed more around the merits of each individual case as a fairer approach.

"We are still keen to work with the college and other stakeholders to ensure that the police disciplinary system is fair, proportionate and transparent, but it has to be so both for the public, but also for police officers."

The College of Policing Guidance.