Staffordshire Police Federation has called on the Home Office to place a 12-month limit on misconduct investigations when it carries out a review of the police dismissals.

Officials announced the move “to raise standards and confidence in policing” after an independent report called for radical reform of the Metropolitan Police.

And branch chair Lee Robinson said the review presented the perfect opportunity to end lengthy investigations which were damaging to all the parties involved and often had a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of officers.

“We welcome the Home Office review and fully understand the reasons behind it but it must also look at our Time Limits campaign and bring and bring an end to these long-drawn-out investigations once and for all,” said Lee ahead of attending a two-day conduct and performance liaison officers’ seminar being held by the Federation this week.

“Too many investigations drag on for years and years and that benefits no-one. We want to see all inquiries completed within 12 months of the initial allegation being made.”

Lee also urged the review to  make sure members were properly protected against false allegations of misconduct by members of the public.

He said: “By the very nature of the work they do and the people they deal with, police officers are inevitably exposed to the possibility of having spurious claims made against them.

“Any new misconduct mechanism must recognise this and ensure our members are given protection against false accusations.”

The announcement of a Home Office review follows Baroness Casey’s interim report into the culture and standards at Scotland Yard which found fewer officers were being dismissed for misconduct.

Officials said the internal review would be launched shortly and would help ensure the system was more effective in removing officers who are not fit to serve the public.

The review is likely to consider:

  • The effectiveness of the existing system to dismiss those who fall seriously short of the standards expected by policing and the public
  • The impact of the introduction of changes to misconduct panels, including legally qualified chairs
  • Whether forces are making use of their powers to discharge officers during their probationary period.

Working with policing partners, it will also assess whether the regulatory framework for the police disciplinary system should be changed.

The Government introduced public misconduct hearings in 2015, legally qualified chairs to lead conduct panels in 2016 and the Police Barred List in 2017 to ensure that officers and staff who are dismissed cannot re-join the police.