Disciplinary matters involving police officers and special constables are currently governed by Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012, which was amended in 2015. From 1 May 2015, any new cases of police officer misconduct may result in hearings that can be attended by the public, including the media.
Details of upcoming hearings will be published with at least five days’ notice on the Essex Police website. The amended regulations state that police gross (serious) misconduct hearings must now be held in public and, from January 2016, they must be presided over by a legally qualified chair.
The legally qualified chair will make a decision on whether the hearing will be held in public, in private or part public/private and wherever possible should state why.
The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex is responsible for the appointment and training of the legally qualified chair.
Police Appeal Tribunals
Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs) hear appeals against the findings of gross (serious) misconduct brought by police officers or special constables. PATs are currently governed by Police Appeals Tribunal Rules 2012, which were amended in 2015. The amendments set out what may be published in respect of appeal hearings and allows for the appeal hearings to be held in public.
Members of the public can now attend appeal hearings as observers but are not allowed to participate in proceedings. The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex is responsible for appointing the chair to conduct the proceedings.
Booking to attend
Places are limited and will need to be booked in advance, preferably at least 48 hours before the hearing. Details of how to do this will be published with each hearing date. To comply with the rules of attendance, observers are required to provide the following when booking:
- email address
- contact telephone number
To book a place at a forthcoming hearing please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full details of the conditions of entry to Police Appeal Tribunals can be read here: Conditions of Entry – PATs