PCC launches consultation on new Legitimacy Strategy
A new Legitimacy Plan to enhance public confidence and increase scrutiny around police behaviour has been compiled by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.
Before the final version is agreed, those who live and work in the county are being asked for their opinions on the draft strategy by David Lloyd.
The Legitimacy Plan builds on the themes set out in the PCC’s Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan to detail how the PCC will work with the Chief Constable to improve and embed further a culture of transparency, accountability and ethical behaviour within the Constabulary.
Following national recommendations, it focuses on addressing the most immediate and pressing matters which can betray public trust such as the abuse of police powers, and sets out a programme of actions for the Constabulary to undertake with the PCC’s support, to enhance further the levels of public confidence within Hertfordshire.
The Plan recognises that most officers carry out their work with the utmost integrity and the good of the public is at the forefront of their minds. However, there are a small minority of officers who may abuse and exploit the position they hold. The Plan outlines steps to identify these officers and staff earlier and deal with them appropriately and swiftly.
Actions detailed within the report include further developing vetting and recruitment processes to provide additional checks on behaviours and motivations of those joining the service through enhanced and more frequent screening. Internal investigations into complaints and completed misconduct investigations will continue to be dip sampled by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure correct processes have been adhered to, as well as regular scrutiny of outcomes by race and other demographics.
Additional support around staff welfare and wellbeing is proposed with the Police Federation, UNISON, Police Superintendents’ Association and the Chief Police Officer Staff Association for those officers who report wrongdoing.
Mr Lloyd said: “Policing is undertaken in this country with the consent of the people, in that they place their trust in officers and the Constabulary to uphold the law. It is vital this contract with the public is maintained and the police can be relied upon by our communities.
“There has never been a greater need for strong and effective public oversight and governance for policing across the whole of the UK. My priority as Police and Crime Commissioner is to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public.
“Rooting out inappropriate behaviour, misogyny and criminal activity must be relentlessly pursued, while reinforcing the core organisational principles of fairness and equality.
“A tremendous amount of work has been undertaken in this area by my office and Hertfordshire Constabulary, but it is right that we continue to look for where further improvements can be made.
“I would like to invite the public to study this plan and provide me with their feedback and comments on the proposals.”
The Plan is the latest action taken by Mr Lloyd to ensure legitimacy, and it has been drafted by a newly appointed Assistant Commissioner with special responsibility for legitimacy Dr Nathan Doust-Briant. In addition, Mr Lloyd’s office is also just one of a few nationally to take responsibility for initial handling of public complaints through his expanded Complaint Resolution Team. This enables a higher degree of independent oversight and the ability to spot trends in issues arising from public complaints.