Standards watchdog calls for ‘ethical checklist’ for PCCs

29 Jun 15

Candidates standing for election as police and crime commissioners should be asked to sign an “ethical checklist” to demonstrate their personal commitment to high standards, the public standards watchdog has recommended.

In a report issued today, the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life said there needed to be a new national minimum code of conduct for PCCs and a review of powers when an individual’s behaviour falls below expected standards.

In addition, the PCC’s responsibility to hold the chief constable to account for ethical behaviour and to embed the College of Policing code of ethics in his or her force needed to be made explicit.

Committee chair Lord Bew said police leaders needed to abide by the highest standards of integrity, honesty and objectivity if they are to win the trust and support of the public.

“PCCs have undoubtedly shaken things up. The arrival of an ‘unshackled’ democratically accountable figurehead has brought about new ways of working and greater public engagement in many areas. But there have also been concerns about the way some PCCs have behaved and the way in which some decisions have been taken,” he said.

“The committee suggests an ‘ethical checklist’ to be used at PCC elections starting with the forthcoming elections in April 2016. The checklist will inform the public about the ethical approach of all candidates seeking election to the post of PCC. If the tone and culture of policing is set by those at the top, then the public is entitled to know that the person they vote for will promote, support and sustain high standards.”

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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