Police officers have the right to consult with, and be accompanied by, a police friend at any interview during an investigation into misconduct and at all stages of the misconduct or performance proceedings.
The police officer concerned may choose a police officer, a police staff member or (where the police officer is a member of a police force) a person nominated by the police officer’s staff association to act as his or her police friend. A person approached to be a police friend is entitled to decline to act as such.
A police friend cannot be appointed to act as such if he or she has had some involvement in that particular case e.g. he or she is a witness etc.
The police friend can:
• Advise the police officer concerned throughout the proceedings under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 or Police (Performance) Regulations 2008.
• Unless the police officer concerned has the right to be legally represented and chooses to be so represented, represent the police officer concerned at the misconduct proceedings, performance proceedings, appeal meeting, a special case hearing or at a Police Appeals Tribunal.
• Make representations to the appropriate authority concerning any aspect of the proceedings under the Conduct or Performance Regulations; and
• Accompany the police officer concerned to any interview, meeting or hearing which forms part of any proceedings under the Conduct or Performance Regulations.
A police friend who has agreed to accompany a police officer is entitled to take a reasonable amount of duty time to fulfil his or her responsibilities as a police friend and should be considered to be on duty when attending interviews, meetings or hearings.