User Bar First

This is a debugging block

Easy read

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

User Bar Second

This is a debugging block

Swyddfa Annibynnol Ymddygiad yr Heddlu

Branding

This is a debugging block

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

Header First

This is a debugging block

Header Second

This is a debugging block

Preface First

This is a debugging block

Preface Second

This is a debugging block

Preface Third

This is a debugging block

Content

This is a debugging block

Outcomes following IOPC independent investigations 2018/19

Our Outcomes following IOPC independent investigations report - 2018/19 is also available as a PDF.


The data in this report covers the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. The data may be subject to change as it is taken from a live system. Unless otherwise stated, the figures refer to the outcomes for individual police officers or staff, and not the number of investigations.


Introduction

About the IOPC

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales. We are independent, and make our decisions independently of the police, government and interest groups. We investigate the most serious complaints and incidents, including deaths following police contact, and set the standards by which the police should handle complaints. We use learning from our work to influence changes in policing.

Specialist police forces such as the Ministry of Defence Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the British Transport Police also come under IOPC jurisdiction. We also oversee the complaints system for other organisations, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. We investigate certain serious complaints and conduct matters relating to staff from these organisations. We also investigate criminal allegations against police and crime commissioners, their deputies and contractors working for the police.

Our investigations have a strong focus on why things happened, and what might prevent them happening again. This means looking at training, management support and organisational culture. You can read about the recommendations we make, summaries of our investigations, and our publications on our website.

Back to top.


About the police complaints and discipline systems

The police discipline system is the responsibility of police forces and is administered by them. Police force professional standards departments (PSDs) deal with the majority of police complaints and allegations of misconduct. Information recorded by force PSDs about the outcomes of misconduct and criminal investigations is published by the Home Office. This includes information relating to IOPC investigations. PSDs must refer the most serious cases to us, regardless of whether someone has made a complaint.

Back to top.


About this report

This report describes the outcomes following IOPC independent investigations between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced several reforms to the police complaints system. This report covers investigations started (and completed) before the reforms were implemented on 1 February 2020.

The data in this report is presented in two sections: decisions made after our investigations, and the outcomes of misconduct or criminal proceedings.

When we refer to outcomes this means:

  • the decision we make about whether someone has a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct as a result of our independent investigation. While we consider the views of the appropriate authority about what should happen, we will make the final decision. It is the appropriate authority that carries out any disciplinary action.

The appropriate authority is one of the following:

i) the chief officer of the police force (or equivalent)

ii) the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the police force the complaint is about

iii) the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (if the complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)

iv) the Common Council for the City of London (if the complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London Police)

  • the decision to make a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) where there is an indication someone may have committed a crime
  • the results of misconduct or criminal proceedings that took place in 2018/19

The outcomes of proceedings covered in this report may relate to investigations completed during this period. However, they may have been completed before 2018/19 with the resulting misconduct proceedings taking place during 2018/19. This means investigation outcomes and proceedings figures should not be compared. This is because there can be a significant time lag between the end of our investigation and any misconduct proceedings conducted by appropriate authorities or criminal cases prosecuted by the CPS.

Back to top.


Summary of outcomes

1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019

This infographic visually represents a summary of IOPC outcomes - 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 - in text shown on the following pages.

Back to top.


About our investigations

In carrying out their duties, police officers and staff (including civilian staff, police community support officers, designated officers and traffic wardens) must comply with the standards of professional behaviour set out in Schedule 2 of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012. Misconduct refers to a breach of these standards.

Allegations that the standards of professional behaviour have been breached could come from a complaint made by a member of the public, or from a concern raised internally within the police force. Forces are also legally required to refer certain matters to us, such as a death or serious injury (DSI) following contact with the police.

When we receive a referral, we make an assessment to determine whether the matter should be investigated by us or referred back to the police force to investigate.

Our investigations assess all the available evidence and provide an independent opinion on whether there is a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct, or whether someone’s performance was unsatisfactory.

At the end of an investigation, we produce a final report, which analyses and summarises the evidence collected. These reports set out our opinion on conduct, performance or learning.

We send our report to the police force involved, which then determines whether someone has a case to answer.

If the force does not agree with the opinion set out in our report, we can take the following steps:

  • listen to why the force disagrees that a misconduct proceeding should be brought
  • recommend that the force holds a misconduct proceeding
  • then, if necessary, direct the force to hold a misconduct proceeding

The final decision about whether misconduct is proven and what, if any, sanction should apply is made during misconduct proceedings conducted by the force. A misconduct hearing panel has an independent, legally qualified, chair.

Where an inquest is held, we provide our report and evidence to the Coroner. These are considered during the inquest. 

If, at the end of our investigation there is an indication that a crime may have been committed, we refer the case to the CPS to decide if the evidence satisfies the threshold for legal proceedings. It is then for the courts to decide whether the person concerned committed a crime.

Disciplinary action is not the only potential outcome of our investigations. An important part of our work involves looking at what caused the situation we investigated, and how this might be prevented in future. We can make recommendations, which can range from training, to changes in policy, practice, supervision and safety improvements. Our Impact report shows how our work is making a difference by influencing improvements in policing practice and reducing future risks. You can read summaries of our investigations and details of the recommendations we make on our website.

Back to top.


Decisions following completed investigations

This section summarises decisions made after our investigations are complete.

Back to top.

Decisions about conduct

During 2018/19, we investigated 800 police officers and staff. We determined that 29% of these (230) had a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct.

We directed the appropriate authority to hold misconduct proceedings in 12 of these cases.

Of the 230 officers/staff who had a case to answer, 143 involved misconduct and 87 gross misconduct.

Our investigations determined that 570 of the police officers and staff we investigated did not have a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct. Further action was taken in response to 34% (193) of these people. This action included management action or advice to improve the conduct of the officer, or unsatisfactory performance procedures.

Back to top.

Referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service

If our investigations find an indication that someone may have committed a crime, we inform those involved. We explain their legal rights and take steps to obtain their account under criminal caution.

During 2018/19, our investigators obtained accounts from 158 police officers and staff who were under criminal caution. This happened as part of 107 investigations.

If, at the conclusion of our investigation, we think a police officer or member of police staff may have committed a criminal offence, we pass our report to the CPS. The CPS then decides whether the person should be prosecuted.

We referred 73 people to the CPS following our investigations. The CPS decided to prosecute 21% (15) of these. The CPS has yet to decide about three of the people we referred.

In deciding whether to refer a case to the CPS we apply a two-part test, which is set out in paragraph 23, Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002. You can read more about this in Section 12 of our Statutory Guidance (2015). The threshold we work to is different to the higher threshold the CPS works to when it decides whether it is appropriate to prosecute someone.

Back to top.


Misconduct and criminal outcomes

The proceedings referred to in this section took place in 2018/19. Our investigation may have been completed in the same period or before this. The IOPC does not determine when proceedings are held; this is determined by the appropriate authority or the CPS. In some cases, proceedings conclude months or years after our investigation has been finalised. This means that investigation outcomes presented in the previous section of this report and the outcomes in this section should not be compared.

Back to top.

Misconduct proceedings

There are two types of misconduct proceedings:

  • for gross misconduct, a misconduct hearing is arranged by the police force (or other authority). The highest level of sanction is dismissal without notice
  • for misconduct, a misconduct meeting is arranged by the police force (or other authority). The highest level of sanction is a final written warning

In some situations, where the appropriate authority decides there is a case to answer for misconduct, management action may be considered instead of misconduct proceedings. Under specific circumstances a misconduct hearing may be deemed more appropriate than a misconduct meeting. You can read more about this in section 12 of our Statutory Guidance (2015).

Misconduct meetings and hearings are conducted by a panel that is convened by the police force with an independent legal chair.

There are different discipline systems for police officers and police staff. Police officers and special constables are subject to the regulations set out in the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012. Complaints and conduct matters involving staff are covered by individual police force policies.

This flowchart describes the various ways in which misconduct outcomes can be reached after we complete our independent investigations. Flow chart outline - how misconduct outcomes are reached The large flow chart has three different starting points, presented here as separate lists with numbered steps. When a step has more than one possible next step, they are listed beneath it. All Case to answer determinations of Misconduct, Gross misconduct and Not misconduct are detailed beneath lists 1, 2 and 3.  Starting point A   1. Death or serious injury 2. Conduct matter identified 3. IOPC independent investigation resulting in: 4. Case to answer determination of • Misconduct • Or Gross misconduct • Or Not misconduct  Starting point B  1. Recordable conduct matter 2. IOPC independent investigation resulting in: 3. Case to answer determination of • Misconduct • Or Gross misconduct • Or Not misconduct  Starting point C  1. Public complaint 2. Conduct matter identified 3. IOPC independent investigation resulting in: 4. Case to answer determination of • Misconduct • Or Gross misconduct • Or Not misconduct  List 1. Misconduct options Option 1. Misconduct meeting. Potential findings are: • Misconduct proven • Misconduct not proven  Potential outcomes of a misconduct meeting are as follows: • Final written warning • Written warning • Management advice • No further action • Proceedings discontinued Option 2. Management action Option 3. Misconduct hearing. Potential findings are: • Gross misconduct proven • Misconduct proven • Misconduct not proven  Potential outcomes of a misconduct hearing are as follows: • Dismissal without notice • Dismissal with notice • Final written warning • Final written warning extension • Written warning • Management advice • Demotion (staff only) • No further action • Proceedings discontinued  List 2. Gross misconduct options Option 1. Misconduct hearing. Potential findings are: • Gross misconduct proven • Misconduct proven • Misconduct not proven  Potential outcomes of a misconduct hearing are as follows: • Dismissal without notice • Dismissal with notice • Final written warning • Final written warning extension • Written warning • Management advice • Demotion (staff only) • No further action • Proceedings discontinued  Option 2. Special case hearing. Potential findings are: • Gross misconduct proven • Misconduct proven • Misconduct not proven  Potential outcomes of a special case hearing are as follows: • Dismissal without notice • Dismissal with notice • Final written warning • Final written warning extension • Referred back to misconduct hearing • Return case to appropriate authority • Case dismissal • Proceedings discontinued  List 3. Not misconduct options Option 1. No action Option 2. Management action Option 3. Unsatisfactory performance procedure

In 2018/19, misconduct proceedings were held for 170 police officers/staff. Panels determined that 61% (103) of these officers/staff were proven to have breached the standards of professional behaviour:

  • gross misconduct was proven for 37 of officers/staff
  • misconduct was proven for 66 officers/staff
  • misconduct was not proven for the remaining 67 officers/staff

This table visually represents the outcomes following misconduct proceedings in the text shown on this page.

In the 37 proceedings where gross misconduct was proven, disciplinary actions imposed were as follows:

  • 14 people were dismissed without notice
  • 16 people received a final written warning
  • one person received a written warning

This table visually represents the outcomes following misconduct proceedings where gross misconduct was proven in the text shown on this page.

  • In 66 proceedings, misconduct was proven:
  • seven people received a final written warning
  • 18 people received a written warning
  • 32 people received management advice
  • two people received no further action

Appropriate authorities do not always agree with the opinion we reach about whether someone we investigated has a case to answer. In this situation, we have the legal power to recommend and then direct appropriate authorities to hold misconduct proceedings.

Of the proceedings held in 2018/19, we directed appropriate authorities to hold them for 16 police officers and staff. In ten of these cases, the proceedings we directed found it was proven that those involved had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

  • one person resigned before their proceeding, where misconduct was proven
  • five proceedings proved gross misconduct and all those involved received final written warnings
  • four proceedings proved misconduct – two people received management advice and two received a written warning

This table visually represents the disciplinary actions following misconduct proceedings where misconduct was proven in the text shown on this page.

Please note disciplinary actions following misconduct proceedings where gross misconduct or misconduct were proven does not include officers/staff who retired or resigned before the proceeding. Although misconduct (or gross misconduct) may be proven at a misconduct hearing for officers who resigned/retired after December 2017, subsequent disciplinary action is not recorded. Therefore, figures may differ from the total misconduct reported. For more information on ‘other’ disciplinary actions, please see the flowchart outline above.

Back to top.

Criminal proceedings

The fact that criminal proceedings took place during 2018/19 does not necessarily mean that the associated IOPC investigation was completed within the same period.

In 2018/19, the CPS brought criminal proceedings against nine police officers and one staff member following an IOPC investigation. These proceedings resulted in five guilty verdicts (or pleas) and five not guilty verdicts.

Where the verdict (or plea) was guilty:

  • two people received an absolute discharge. This is given either where the offence was very minor, or the court considers that the experience of being charged and facing court proceedings has been enough of a deterrent. The offender will receive a criminal record and no further action is taken
  • one person received a conditional discharge. This is where no further action is taken unless they commit a further offence within a time decided by the court (no more than three years)
  • the remaining two were each sentenced to community service and ordered to pay a fine

Table of offences and verdict 2018/19

View the data in Figure 5: Table of offences and verdicts 2018/19 as a CSV file.

Back to top.


Annexes

Annex A: glossary

Appropriate authority – The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.

Conduct – refers to the way someone behaves and the way they treat others. For example, it can include things they say or don’t say and their decisions. Police officers and staff must behave in a way that meets professional standards.

Conduct matter – situations where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a crime or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.

Disciplinary action – happens at the end of misconduct proceedings and can include the following:

  • management advice
  • a written warning
  • a final written warning
  • an existing final written warning being extended
  • dismissal with notice
  • dismissal without notice

Final written warning – a final written warning is given when a previous written warning has not been effective or where a matter is considered to be sufficiently serious. A copy of the letter will be placed on the individual’s personal file.

Gross misconduct – a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that is so serious that dismissal would be justified.

Management action – steps taken by a manager to improve performance or manage the behaviour of a member of staff. It is an opportunity to learn and improve. It addresses performance and conduct in a timely, proportionate and effective way. Management action is not a formal disciplinary outcome.

Management advice – refers to situations when management action is imposed as a formal disciplinary outcome following misconduct proceedings or an appeal meeting.

Misconduct – a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.

Misconduct hearing – held to deal with misconduct and can impose disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Misconduct meeting – held to deal with misconduct and can impose disciplinary action up to and including a final written warning.

Misconduct proceedings – for a member of a police force or a special constable, misconduct proceedings means a misconduct meeting or a misconduct hearing. For a member of police staff, misconduct proceedings means any proceedings or management process that considers their conduct (as opposed to their performance) in order to determine whether their conduct warrants a sanction.

Unsatisfactory performance procedures – this process is used to improve someone’s performance. It deals with inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

Written warning – written warnings may be given when a matter is considered to be sufficiently serious. A copy of the letter will be placed on the individual’s personal file. 

Back to top.

Annex B: data considerations

Outcomes following IOPC investigations are recorded on a bespoke database, which includes the outcomes for individual police officers/staff who have been the subject of an investigation. A single investigation may consider the conduct of multiple people. The figures in this report refer to the outcomes for individual police officers/ staff and not the number of investigations (unless otherwise stated). 

The data in this report is live. It may be subject to change and may reflect errors with data entry and processing.

The IOPC is committed to improving and reviewing the quality of our data. As data quality improves, there may be variance with figures reported previously.

This report covers the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. The investigations covered in the first section of this report were completed during this period. However, the results of misconduct or criminal proceedings that took place in 2018/19 may have been as a result of investigations completed before 2018/19. This means investigation outcomes and proceedings figures should not be compared.

This report does not constitute official statistics as defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

Back to top.

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

Postscript First

This is a debugging block

Postscript Second

This is a debugging block

Postscript Third

This is a debugging block

Postscript Fourth

This is a debugging block