Public urged to have their say on changes to police Code of Ethics
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People in Bedfordshire are being urged to help shape a major overhaul of how police officers should act, as part of a consultation on proposed changes to policing’s Code of Ethics that was launched this week.
The College of Policing has carried out a review into its Code of Ethics, which provides a framework to guide the actions taken and decisions made by everyone working for the police service. They are now asking people from across policing, partner organisations, and the public to share their views on the proposed new version.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Chief Executive for the College of Policing, visited Bedfordshire Police Headquarters on Tuesday (7 March) to launch the consultation process.
During his visit he spent time talking to frontline officers about what the Code of Ethics means to them and the importance of everyone in policing acting as a leader and challenging inappropriate behaviour.
College of Policing Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “It was a pleasure to launch the consultation for the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics at Bedfordshire Police. I saw first hand how hard the officers and staff in Bedfordshire are working to rebuild the public’s trust in policing.
“The Code of Ethics was first published in 2014 and has been updated to reflect the modern day challenges we face. It commits us to prioritising public service by always acting in the public interest, leading with courage by challenging wrongdoing when we see it and responding with respect and empathy at every call we attend.
“It’s really important we hear views from both within and outside policing as part of this consultation and I encourage everyone to take five minutes to tell us what they think.”
Chief Constable Marsh also spent time talking to Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst and Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye about the work that they have already been doing to bring about cultural changes within Bedfordshire Police.
Chief Constable Rodenhurst said: “It’s absolutely vital that everyone in policing uses the Code of Ethics to guide us in all we do. If we are doing that, then naturally it should follow that our officers are then upholding the standards that are expected of us and treating the public in an open, respectful and empathetic way.
“We’ve had a big increase in student officers to our force recently and it’s really important that our new recruits have a clear understanding from the start of their policing journey of the importance of using the Code of Ethics – while also not being afraid to call out those whose behaviour falls short of what is expected.
“It was great to welcome Chief Constable Marsh to our force to show him the positive work we’ve been doing in this area. But we cannot police without the public’s consent, which is why I’m encouraging people across our communities to take a look at the proposed changes to the Code of Ethics and get in touch with their views.”
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye said: "Standards in policing are under the spotlight like never before and I have invested in our Professional Standards Department to speed up things like misconduct investigations as well as vetting.
"But this is just a small part of the approach policing must take to set the right standards, ethics and culture it needs to be a truly first class public service.
"The proposed code of ethics is a crucial part of this approach and I was pleased to hear Chief Constable Andy Marsh’s vision for it.
"It was an honour for the next phase of this work to be launched here in Bedfordshire and for us to get the opportunity to highlight all the work we already have underway with our new and existing officers."