How will the investigation be conducted?
The purpose of an investigation is to:
• Gather evidence to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged misconduct
• Establish on the balance of probabilities, based on the evidence and taking into account all of the circumstances, whether there is a case to answer in respect of either misconduct or gross misconduct or that there is no case to answer.
• Identify any learning for the individual or the organisation.
The overall aim is a proportionate and balanced investigation, carried out as soon as possible after any alleged misconduct comes to notice and that the investigation is carried out as quickly as possible allowing for the complexity of the case.
Where the investigation identifies that the issue is one of performance rather than misconduct, the police officer should be informed as soon as possible that the matter is now being treated as an issue of performance.
The investigator must ensure that the police officer is kept informed of the progress of the investigation. It is also good practice to keep the police friend informed of progress at the same time.
The investigator is required to notify the police officer of the progress of the investigation at least every 4 weeks from the start of the investigation.
The police officer or his or her police friend, acting on the police officer’s instructions, is encouraged to suggest at an early stage any line of enquiry that would assist the investigation and to pass to the investigator any material they consider relevant to the enquiry.
The investigator (under the Conduct Regulations or the 2002 Act) has a duty to consider the suggestions submitted to him or her. The investigator should consider and document reasons for following or not following any submissions made by the police officer or his or her police friend with a view to ensuring that the investigation is as fair as possible. The suggestions may involve a further suggested line of investigation or further examination of a particular witness.
The purpose is to enable a fair and balanced investigation report to be prepared and where appropriate made available for consideration at a misconduct meeting/hearing and to negate the need (except where necessary) for witnesses to attend a meeting/hearing.