Steps will be taken to ensure officers who are “struck off” from the service do not have their safety endangered by being named on a public, national register, the lead officer has said.
Assistant Chief Constable Karen Daber said there was a wider discussion to be had around the proposed “struck off” register – and whether naming officers over misconduct matters was proportionate.
The Cambridgeshire officer, who is the lead for the professional body’s integrity programme, said the College was currently taking legal advice over whether it could name officers on a national register – to prevent them from working in the Service again.
The proposals follow the case of disgraced former PC Simon Harwood who managed to join the Metropolitan Police twice. He was allowed to retire on medical grounds during the first spell – despite facing outstanding disciplinary matters – and then later rejoined.
The register would name those officers dismissed for gross misconduct matters or convicted of associated crimes – and those that retire or resign to avoid the conclusion of disciplinary matters.
ACC Daber said she believed the risks of publishing a former officer’s name on a national register would have to be weighed up on a case-by-case basis.
She said: “If there is a situation where naming that individual on a public site creates risk, in those circumstances we would not name them.
“It has to be done on an individual basis.”
A spokesman said the College was still considering its proposals for the national register – and what it could do if it felt unable to publish an officer’s name.
It could be the case that the register will consist of several lists according to the different circumstances of an officer leaving.
During a presentation at the College’s Setting the Standard Conference, one of the potential groups identified are officers that leave the service before a case to answer has even been established. In this case they are unlikely to be named. If they retire or resign when a case to answer has been established, it is proposed they are named.
ACC Daber said the matter still had to be discussed with the staff associations concerned – with the rights of the individual taken into consideration.
But she said transparency and confidence were paramount to the proposal.
She added: “The importance of having it public is about transparency and confidence.
“There is a discussion to be had about naming the officer but for other professional bodies, such as doctors, there is a public facing list and you can go on the website and see the names.”
The register is to be managed and published by the College once it has been established.