The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland is committed to the highest possible standards of honesty and openness, probity and accountability.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner seeks to conduct its business in a responsible manner, ensuring all its activities are open and effectively managed and that its integrity is sustained.
This policy is accessible to all who wish to express concerns of a public interest nature to the Police & Crime Commissioner.
The Commissioner has adopted this policy and this approach to accessibility in view of
- The PCC’s overall duty to hold Cleveland Police to account and to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Force
- The PCC’s role as ‘Appropriate Authority’ in respect of complaints and conduct concerns in relation to officers of the rank of Chief Constable and
- The PCC’s Monitoring Officer’s role to oversee the lawfulness of decisions taken by or in the name of the PCC.
In short, any person working within or alongside policing or the OPCC, may make use of this policy and/or can seek guidance from the PCC’s Chief Executive & Monitoring Officer about any ethics or integrity matter.
In line with that commitment, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) encourages staff (whether employed by the PCC or, by Cleveland Police or any organisation providing services to Cleveland Police or the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner) who may have serious concerns about any aspect of their work, in so far as that work relates to matters which fall within the remit of the Police & Crime Commissioner as local policing body, to come forward and voice those concerns.
It is recognised that many concerns will be expressed in confidence. Unless the law requires otherwise or consent has been obtained, that confidence will be maintained.
Staff are often the first to realise that there may be something wrong. It is recognised that staff may not express their concerns because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or to the PCC. They may also fear harassment or victimisation.
In these circumstances, it may be easier to ignore the concern rather than report what may just be a suspicion of malpractice.
It is the responsibility of each member of staff to realise that they not only have the right but also have a moral duty to report any suspected improper actions or omissions.
This policy makes it clear that staff can raise concerns without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or disadvantage.
This policy is in addition to the Force’s extant reporting arrangements, the complaints procedures and other statutory reporting procedures which apply.