Public confidence in the Police has been shaken by recent scandals and other negative incidents placing Police Forces in a reactive mode rather than that of managing integrity proactively. As such, the integrity approaches and resources are diverted by repeated reviews, investigation and disciplinary procedures.
I believe that leadership, management and supervisors should move to a stance of active promotion of integrity, rather than continuing firefighting crisis upon crisis
To achieve this goal, I have developed and implemented a comprehensive ethics and integrity framework that builds on and consolidates the extensive work already in place in Lancashire. The framework sets out
- the standards and behaviours that the public can expect from me and my Office;
- how I am accountable to the public, and how the public can in turn hold me to account; and
- how I hold the Chief Constable of Lancashire to account in the important areas of standards, public life and public service.
Standards and behaviours that the public can expect from me and my Office
Ethics and integrity lie at the heart of everything I do in my role as Police Crime Commissioner for Lancashire. By ethics, I mean the values and behaviours which underpin all of my work and the work of Lancashire Constabulary.
When entering office I undertook to abide by an Ethical Code of Conduct and adopted the Ethical Framework for Police and Crime Commissioners which has been developed by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) following discussions with the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL).
This Ethical Framework allows transparency in all areas of my work as a Police and Crime Commissioner. These principles encompass my work locally and whilst representing the communities I serve in national forums. View the Ethical Code of Conduct with examples of how these are achieved.
How I am accountable to the public, and how the public can in turn hold me to account
I am elected by the people of Lancashire, and I am directly accountable to the electorate.
The Police and Crime Panel for Lancashire, which comprises representatives from each district and unitary authorities, plus two independent members, is another mechanism by which I am held accountable. The Panel’s role includes reviewing the Police and Crime Plan, Annual Report and both scrutinising and supporting me in holding the Chief Constable to account.
The Panel has a number of powers and responsibilities. These include:
- The power to veto (by two-thirds majority) the proposed precept and the proposed candidate for Chief Constable.
- Reviewing the draft Police and Crime Plan and make recommendations to which I (as PCC) must have regard.
- Reviewing my Annual Report and make reports and recommendations at a public meeting, which I must attend.
- Asking Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) for a professional view, should I intend to dismiss the Chief Constable.
- Holding confirmation hearings for my proposed chief executive and chief finance officer appointments.
- The Panel is required to hold a minimum of four public meetings a year. Papers can be accessed here.
Allegations and Complaints against the Police and Crime Commissioner
Any complaints made against me go to the Panel for consideration and investigation.
Joint Audit and Ethics Committee
The Chief Constable and I have established a Joint Audit and Ethics Committee to provide advice and support to myself and the Chief Constable on matters relating to the ethics and integrity of policing in Lancashire. The Committee comprises of five Independent Advisors and will consider issues such as standards of behaviour, use of force, etc.
The Terms of Reference of the Joint Audit and Ethics Committee are available here.
How I hold the Chief Constable to account in the important areas of standards, public life and public service
Lancashire Police are guided by the new College of Policing’s Code of Ethics.
Holding the Chief Constable to account is a continuous process. Through my Police and Crime Plan and supported by my office and the Joint Audit and Ethics Committee, I will hold the Chief Constable explicitly to account for promoting ethical behaviour and embedding the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics into Lancashire Constabulary.
My office operates a thorough scrutiny programme, which analyses Lancashire Constabulary’s service performance and financial performance against a number of areas including:
- My Police and Crime Plan;
- Performance against a number of crime types across Lancashire as a whole.
- Budgetary controls;
- Performance against the medium term financial plan; and
- Reports on areas within corporate support such as HR, IT and Estates.
I oversee Lancashire Constabulary and have responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective and fair. My office has a process for looking into complaints that are made, and where matters are not within my remit (e.g. those matters that are to do with operational policing or a complaint against a police officer or staff, other than the Chief Constable); my office will pass those complaints to Lancashire Constabulary to respond.
As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am only responsible for dealing with complaints about the conduct of the Chief Constable, not those against rank and file officers.
The Joint Audit and Ethics Committee undertakes dip sampling of complaints made against police officers and staff of Lancashire Constabulary.
Monitoring of the Professional Standards Department, and of high professional standards
I am committed to ensuring that the highest possible professional standards are embedded across Lancashire Constabulary. Where misconduct or errors of judgement do occur, I will ensure a fair and rigorous disciplinary process.
I publish a quarterly performance report on matters pertaining to police professional standards.