25th July 2019

Northumbria Police regularly publish on their website the outcome of disciplinary hearings against their Police Officers/Police staff.

It is to the credit of Northumbria Police that they publish such outcomes although it is possible they only do so as a result of requests made by the persons who chair the disciplinary panels.  If persons chairing the panels make the request Northumbria Police has no choice but to publish details.

Details of disciplinary meetings and hearings encourage transparency, openness, accountability and public confidence in policing.  For these reasons it is encouraging members of the public can find the disciplinary information on the Northumbria Police website.  Unfortunately the information is far from prominent.  Log on to Northumbria Police’s website; I challenge you to find the disciplinary information – it is there, keep looking.

In the period March 2019 – May 2019 a number of Northumbria Police Constables and Police staff had disciplinary findings made against them.  The misconduct included an Officer swearing at the complainant’s son, a Police staff member inappropriately touching a colleague, a Police staff member being under the influence of alcohol whilst on duty on several occasions such that the staff member was impaired and unfit to be at work, failings by a Police Sergeant surrounding the detention and treatment of a male who died in Police custody and an Officer who recorded CCTV footage of an incident onto his personal mobile phone and then disclosed the footage to third parties.  Disciplinary sanctions imposed ranged from management advice (advice given with the intention to improve the future conduct of the Officer concerned) through to final written warnings.

Unfortunately, and perhaps not in the spirit of transparency in local policing, the names of the Officers/Police staff disciplined are not disclosed to the public.

Blog by Richard Hardy, Partner