How will misconduct be dealt with?
Unless there are good reasons to take no action, there are two ways by which line managers can deal with matters which have been assessed as potential misconduct:
Disciplinary action for misconduct – where it is felt that the matter should be investigated
A decision on which action will be appropriate will be made on the basis of the information available following the severity assessment.
The purpose of management action is to:
Deal with misconduct in a timely, proportionate and effective way that will command the confidence of staff, police officers, the police service and the public.
Identify any underlying causes or welfare considerations.
Improve conduct and to prevent a similar situation arising in the future.
Even if the police officer does not agree to the management action it can still be imposed by the manager providing such action is reasonable and proportionate.
Management action may include:
• Pointing out how the behaviour fell short of the expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour
• Identifying expectations for future conduct.
• Establishing an improvement plan.
• Addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
The police officer may in some cases be advised that any future misconduct even if it is of the same type, could be dealt with by disciplinary action rather than management action.
The manager may draft an improvement plan with the police officer. This should include timescales for improvement in the conduct.
Management action is not a disciplinary outcome but is considered to be part of the normal managerial responsibility of managers in the police service. Management action is always available, including during or after the process of resolving a complaint using Local Resolution. Management action does not have to be revealed to the CPS as it does not constitute a disciplinary outcome.
Where an appropriate manager decides at the severity assessment that management action is the most appropriate and proportionate way to deal with an issue of misconduct, there will be no requirement to conduct a formal investigation and therefore no requirement to give a written notice to the police officer concerned in accordance with the provisions in the Conduct Regulations.
Management action is not to be confused with management advice. Management advice is a disciplinary outcome that can only be imposed following a misconduct meeting or hearing.
Disciplinary action for Misconduct
Where it is felt that management action is not appropriate to deal with the alleged breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour then an investigation into the alleged misconduct may be necessary. Where in cases of potential misconduct, management action is not considered appropriate, there will be an investigation under the Conduct Regulations and in cases where the allegation amounts to one of gross misconduct, then the matter will always be investigated.
The purpose of taking further disciplinary proceedings is to:
• Establish the facts underlying the allegation.
• Deal with cases of misconduct in a timely, proportionate, fair and effective way such as will command the confidence of the police service and the public.
• Identify any underlying causes or welfare considerations.
• Identify any learning opportunities for the individual or the organisation.