HC 1929-iWritten Evidence submitted by Sir Denis O’Connor, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary [MC01]

Your letter of 11 April asks:

1.Are there any national guidelines about police officers’ conduct in relation to racism?

2.Are there any national guidelines on what specifically constitutes racist behaviour?

3.What are the appropriate sanctions for misconduct with a racial element?

4.Are there any guidelines that deal more broadly with conduct and ethics of officers?

1. In terms of national guidelines, in the NPIA’s Equality Standard for the Police, the service has standard in place against which conduct and behaviour can be assessed. This sets the overarching framework for improvement in the delivery of equality both within the workforce and in terms of serving communities. The sections on ‘People and Culture’ and ‘Organisational Processes’ are particularly relevant here in terms of setting a standard for conduct and behaviour of police officers in relation to equality.

There are also well-established elements of police doctrine dealing with murder and critical incidents which affect all of our citizens, but which take particular account of contex1, including race.

2. IPCC has laid out guidance on what constitutes racist behaviour within their Statutory Guidance (p 177), available on their website.

3. Appropriate sanctions have to be considered in relation to the misconduct alleged. In the ‘contex1 of crime’ cases, there is statutory guidance produced by IPCC (http://statguidance.ipcc.gov.uklPages/default.aspx—see Annex B), which includes discriminatory behaviour as an aggravating factor in terms of mandatory referrals. It would be remarkable if race was not treated as a special consideration given its status in legislation.

4. There is a plethora of guidance and codes around conduct and ethics in the service, as highlighted recently in relation to police integrity. Although there is no single unifying set of values, ACPO are moving towards the National Decision Model as the key reference point. The MPS have been forthcoming in their discussions with us on this issue—and in agreeing to share their analysis of the various issues, which have been rehearsed in the media, to enable understanding as to whether they have systemic implications or whether they constitute a collection of events over time—or whether there is something else happening. This analysis is not yet complete, in securing comparative data that may assist understanding and action. We will follow through on these issues once there is more detail of the MPS analysis. In the meantime, if I can assist further, please let me know.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary

16 April 2012

Prepared 9th May 2012