Support for Person Reporting Wrongdoing Policy and Procedure

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1 Support for Person Reporting Wrongdoing Policy and Procedure Reference No. P09:2000 Implementation date September 2000 Version Number 3.7 Reference No: P14:2001 Name. Linked documents Dignity At Work Policy and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure P09:2002 Police Staff Disciplinary Policy Policy Section Procedure Section Suitable for Publication Yes Yes Protective Marking Not Protectively Marked PRINTED VERSIONS SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON. THE MOST UP TO DATE VERSION CAN BE FOUND ON THE FORCE INTRANET POLICIES SITE.

2 Table of Contents 1 Policy Section Statement of Intent Aim and Rationale Our Visions and Values People, Confidence and Equality Standards Legal Basis Associated Statutory Provision People, Confidence and Equality Impact Assessment Monitoring / Feedback Procedure Section Mechanisms for Reporting Wrongdoing Principles of Reporting Arrangements for Supporting Personnel Reporting Wrongdoing Consultation and Authorisation Consultation Authorisation of this version Version Control Review Version History Related Forms Document History

3 1 Policy Section 1.1 Statement of Intent Aim and Rationale Dorset Police is committed to maintaining the highest possible professional standards, as set out in its Visions and Values statement. This policy aims to create a climate where staff feel a genuine obligation to openness and transparency when reporting breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour and other wrongdoing within Dorset Police. Such a climate will support a willingness for staff to provide the evidence necessary to allow the wrongdoing to be effectively dealt with, their motivation arising from a desire to uphold the visions and values of Dorset Police and undertake the positive action that is universally acknowledged to be right. This policy sets out the ways in which an individual within Dorset Police can report wrongdoing with an expectation that their actions will be supported by their colleagues and management. 1.2 Our Visions and Values Dorset Police is committed to the principles of One Team, One Vision A Safer Dorset for You Our strategic priority is to achieve two clear objectives: To Make Dorset Safer To Make Dorset Feel Safer In doing this we will act in accordance with our values of: Integrity Professionalism Fairness and Respect National Decision Model The National Decision Model (NDM) is the primary decision-making model used in Dorset Police. The NDM is inherently flexible and is applied to the development and review of all policy, procedure, strategy, project, plan or guidance. Understanding, using and measuring the NDM ensures that we are able to make ethical (see Code of Ethics), proportionate and defensible decisions in relation to policy, procedure, strategy, project, plan or guidance. Code of Ethics The Code of Ethics underpins every day policy, procedures, decision and action in policing today. The Code of Ethics is an everyday business consideration. This document has been developed with the Code of Ethics at the heart ensuring consideration of the 9 Policing principles and the 10 standards of professional behaviour. Monitoring is carried out through the Equality Impact Assessment process which has been designed to specifically include the Code of Ethics. 3

4 1.3 People, Confidence and Equality This document seeks to achieve the priority to make Dorset feel safer by securing trust and confidence. Research identifies that this is achieved through delivering services which: 1. Address individual needs and expectations 2. Improve perceptions of order and community cohesion 3. Focus on community priorities 4. Demonstrate professionalism 5. Express Force values 6. Instil confidence in staff This document also recognises that some people will be part of many communities defined by different characteristics. It is probable that all people share common needs and expectations whilst at the same time everyone is different. Comprehensive consultation and surveying has identified a common need and expectation for communities in Dorset to be:- - Listened to - Kept informed - Protected, and - Supported. 2 Standards 2.1 Legal Basis This policy is aligned to (but does not replace) the following policies and procedures: Dignity at Work Policy and Grievance Resolution Procedure (P14:2001); The Standards of Professional Behaviour (Police Officer); Police Officer Misconduct, Unsatisfactory Performance and Attendance Management Procedures (Home Office Guidance); Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008; Police Staff Standards of Professional Behaviour (Police Staff Council No September 2008); Police Staff Council Handbook Police Staff Disciplinary Policy (P09:2002); Public Interest Disclosure Act

5 2.2 Associated Statutory Provision The Public Disclosure Act The aim of the Public Disclosure Act 1998 is to ensure that information in the public interest is brought to the attention of the appropriate person in order that the wrongdoing can be dealt with speedily and effectively. It encourages disclosure of information by giving statutory protection against adverse treatment by employers, and any detriment, bullying or harassment by other employees to individuals who make disclosures about certain acts of wrongdoing, or dangers in the workplace. The act applies to both police staff and police officers. A qualifying disclosure must be reasonably believed to have been made in the public interest, in good faith The types of disclosures which individuals are encouraged to report under this Act include information relating to: a criminal offence; a breach of a legal obligation; a miscarriage of justice; a danger to the health and safety of an individual; deliberate covering up of information in respect of any of the above matters. Clearly the scope of the Act goes further than this policy for reporting wrongdoing, for example the Act specifically includes health and safety issues Individuals who are protected by the provisions of the Act can complain to an Employment Tribunal if they have been subjected to a detriment as a result of making a disclosure. The remedies available to a tribunal include reinstatement, reemployment, and compensation The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been designated as a prescribed person for the purposes of public interest disclosure. This means that someone serving with the police can report concerns about the conduct of other persons serving with the police in a protected disclosure to the IPCC. This is in contrast to making a complaint about a colleague which Police officers and staff members are only able to do in restricted circumstances. Information may be provided to the IPCC by a person serving with the police without suffering any employment law consequences Standards of Professional Behaviour. The Standards of Professional Behaviour (Police Officer Misconduct, Unsatisfactory Performance and Attendance Management Procedures (Home Office Guidance)) identifies an obligation to challenging and report improper conduct: Police officers report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the standards of professional behaviour expected. Police officers are expected to uphold the standards of professional behaviour in the police service by taking appropriate action if they come across the conduct of a colleague which has fallen below these standards. They never ignore such conduct. Police officers who in the circumstances feel they cannot challenge a colleague directly, for example if they are a more junior rank and are not confident, report their concerns, preferably to a line manager. If they do not feel able to approach a line manager with their concerns, they may report the matter through the force s 5

6 confidential reporting mechanism, or to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner or Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Police officers are supported by the police service if they report conduct by a police officer which has fallen below the standards expected unless such a report is found to be malicious or otherwise made in bad faith. It is accepted that the circumstances may make immediate action difficult but police managers are expected to challenge or take action as soon as possible. It is accepted however that it will not always be necessary to report a police officer s conduct if the matter has been dealt with appropriately by a manager in the police service Police Staff Standards of Professional Behaviour (Police Staff Council No September 2008) both identify an obligation to challenging and report improper conduct: Police staff whilst at work report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which have fallen below the standards of professional behaviour expected Staff should be assured that, if requested, their identity will be kept confidential unless disclosure is required by law. Members of staff reporting wrongdoing should do so in the knowledge that they may be required to give evidence to support criminal or misconduct proceedings if appropriate. There are instances where a staff member may wish to remain anonymous or provides the information in confidence. Such circumstances can be catered for but the policy encourages open reporting to improve the environment for all within Dorset Police. 2.3 People, Confidence and Equality Impact Assessment During the creation of this document, this business area is subject to an assessment process entitled People, Confidence and Equality Impact Assessment (EIA). Its aim is to establish the impact of the business area on all people and to also ensure that it complies with the requirements imposed by a range of legislation. 2.4 Monitoring / Feedback Detail briefly what will be monitored: Compliance with the policy Detail who will be responsible: Head of Anti-Corruption Unit/Head of Complaints and Misconduct Unit (PSD) Detail when or how often the monitoring will take place: Ongoing Feedback relating to this policy can be made in writing or by to: Anti-Corruption Unit, PSD, Police Headquarters, Winfrith, Dorset, DT2 8DZ .Anti Corruption Telephone:

7 3 Procedure Section 3.1 Mechanisms for Reporting Wrongdoing If a member of staff believes that they have information of criminal or misconduct offences involving Dorset Police staff, then the matter should be reported as soon as practicable There are a number of ways in which the report can be made, depending on the individual circumstances, but reporting openly in person is always encouraged and supported: Report to a trusted friend or colleague for onward reporting; Report directly to line management; Report to any supervisor; Report via the Confidential Reporting System (Confidential Reporting System Link); Report directly to Professional Standards Department (PSD) either to the Complaints and Misconduct Unit ( ) or to the Anti-Corruption Unit ( or.anti Corruption Unit ); The Independent Police Complaints Commission (see above) have a dedicated reporting system for use by police officers/staff or IPCC Report Line ; Report to her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabularies on via This list does not prevent the individual from making an approach via another route, e.g. Welfare, Occupational Health, Staff Associations Superintendents Association, Police Federation, Unison or Human Resources The range of reporting options is designed to give staff the flexibility to choose the most appropriate method of reporting wrongdoing. This may be particularly relevant when issues of diversity may present a barrier to reporting wrongdoing. Where the individual makes an approach to anyone within Dorset Police the response they receive should be positive, robust and supportive. 3.2 Principles of Reporting Dorset Police actively encourage open reporting allowing the member of staff reporting the wrongdoing to provide a witness statement for criminal or misconduct purposes, where appropriate. It is acknowledged that such overt reporting is not always possible and where necessary, confidentiality will be given the highest priority. All staff should be aware that the legal rules governing disclosure applies to both criminal and misconduct cases (see The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, etc) The recipient of an overt report relating to wrongdoing will consider issues of confidentiality and any associated documentation will be protectively marked and handled appropriately Reports relating to wrongdoing received by the Anti-Corruption Unit will be assessed and graded in line with the National Intelligence Model; therefore the identity of the source of the information can be protected using a secure Intelligence Source Register 7

8 (ISR), where appropriate. The ISR register is only accessible by the Anti-Corruption Unit, Director of Intelligence and the Office of Surveillance Commissioners (for inspection purposes). The protected intelligence is recorded on a secure, stand-alone intelligence system managed and maintained by the Anti-Corruption Unit. Access to the intelligence is protected by the associated handling codes and is on a strictly need to know basis Every effort will be made to ensure that the information received is corroborated and the integrity and accuracy of the information confirmed. Reports relating to wrongdoing must be given in good faith and where it is established that a report was made maliciously, the reporting member of staff may be liable to criminal or misconduct action being taken against them When open and overt reports have been made (i.e. the identity of the individual and the fact of the report has been made is known to his or her colleagues), appropriate support will be given from the outset and must continue until the issue is fully resolved. This includes pro-active management support and action, staff association involvement and advice on access to other support services e.g. welfare, confidential counselling line, where appropriate. There is an expectation that line managers will demonstrate visible active and supportive leadership in supporting the reporting individual Limited and defined amnesty for discipline/misconduct offences may be given for staff who are able to give evidence of criminal activity, and serious matters of misconduct. Criteria to be considered include: the evidence being given is essential; the evidence is needed to support a successful prosecution; the member of staff concerned has not taken part in criminal offences, serious misconduct, or gained from any such activity. Such amnesty will only be given with the permission of the Deputy Chief Constable The Deputy Chief Constable (DCC), as the ACPO overseer, is responsible for the process outlined in this policy. The DCC has particular responsibility for ensuring that the appropriate support is provided to individuals who make reports relating to wrongdoing. Individuals who have made such reports can, at any stage, have direct access to the DCC in order to discuss personal concerns. 3.3 Arrangements for Supporting Personnel Reporting Wrongdoing In most cases the person reporting wrongdoing will be an information source or a witness to a criminal or misconduct offence and/or a victim of crime. Dorset Police is committed to providing an enhanced service to such staff in a similar way to that provided to vulnerable victims and witnesses in high priority criminal cases It is essential that the individual reporting is kept updated by the Investigating Officer on the progress of the investigation, except where the information is given confidentially and the source specifically ask that this not to be done. Investigating officers must provide the updates in a timely fashion whilst being cognisant of the individual s environment. 8

9 3.3.3 Whilst the Professional Standards Department have a role to play in supporting staff during the process, it is line management that have the more significant role as they are in daily contact with the individual. Where a report relating to wrongdoing has been made, it is the line managers responsibility to ensure that: actions outlined in this policy are undertaken; an environment is developed and maintained where members of staff are confident in coming forward to make such reports; they assure the member of staff that they will not suffer detriment such reports are responded to promptly, genuinely and with sensitivity; the individuals actions are acknowledged as right and they are supported positively; protection from victimisation and harassment is provided; positive and robust action is taken in cases of victimisation or harassment; action is taken to prevent any other adverse repercussions; The reporting member of staff suffers no detriment for reporting wrongdoing and they should encourage them to report if they believe that they do subsequently suffer such detriment Initial action in responding to a report remains the responsibility of the line manager, who should make immediate contact with the Professional Standards Department. This action does not prevent the matter from being dealt with on a local basis where appropriate, but is necessary to allow for a PSD assessment to be carried out in relation to the management of any subsequent investigation The Professional Standards Department will undertake the following: provide support, guidance and advice at every stage of the process; monitor progress of each case from beginning to end; the collation, analysis and dissemination of intelligence; where appropriate, investigate the report; ensure confidentiality issues are properly handled; ensure compliance with this policy; where appropriate keep the person who has made the report updated; act as a conduit for identifying good practice There may be instances where the assistance of the Occupational Health Service/Welfare are required. They are able to provide more specialist advice to individuals and managers on a range of health, safety and welfare matters. Support in this context may be offered to the individual member of staff, their partner and other colleagues affected by the making of a report of wrongdoing. Contact with these services is strictly confidential and matters discussed there will not be disclosed to the investigating team unless criminal conduct is disclosed It is anticipated that the issues of witness protection will only arise in the most serious cases. A threat assessment will be undertaken at an early stage and the appropriate facilities and support provided. The Professional Standards Department retains responsibility for initiating and managing this process, where appropriate It is important to establish the expectations of the individual when reporting. Effective communication and inclusion will be the key to the successful relationship between the individual and the investigation team. Promises should not be made which cannot be kept and the individual must be fully informed of the implications upon them when 9

10 making a report. It is fundamental to the health of the organisation that they are reassured that they are doing the right thing and will be supported throughout the process. The Whistleblowing Commission have issued a Code of Practice which can be found at At the conclusion of an investigation there should be a debrief undertaken with the individual making the report of wrongdoing. It is a two-way process where outstanding issues and concerns can be raised by the individual, and the organisation can restate its commitment to the process. Staff conducting debriefing must consider disclosure issues in criminal cases There will be occasions when the organisation would wish to recognise the actions of the individual who has made a report of wrongdoing. This might include a PPP3, a letter of appreciation or a more formal award. It is important to remain guided by the wishes of the individual concerned. 10

11 4 Consultation and Authorisation 4.1 Consultation Version No Name Signature Date Police & Crime Commissioner Police Federation Superintendents Association UNISON Other Relevant Partners (if applicable) 4.2 Authorisation of this version Version No: 3.7 Name Signature Date DI A Strong 3/12/14 Prepared: Quality assured: Authorised: Approved: 5 Version Control 5.1 Review Mr N Redstone 3/12/14 Date of next scheduled review Date: 15 July

12 5.2 Version History Version Date Reason for Change Created / Amended by /2000 Initial Document /2005 Comply with Impact Assessment DS 150 Marsden /2007 Policy Update DI 1006 Foster /2011 Fit for purpose review/reformat. No significant changes to substance of DI 837 Chalkley policy /11/12 Removal of references to Police Authority and their meetings, replaced with references to the Office of the PCC. No other review or update performed /02/13 Minor changes to remove reference to Integrity Unit and replace with Anti-Corruption Unit /7/13 Fit for purpose review/reformat. No significant changes to substance of policy /4/14 Amendment to paragraph regarding the updated Public Disclosure Act 1998 which makes mention now of bullying/harassment and adding in about a qualifying disclosure /11/14 The policy has been reviewed in preparation for NICHE implementation (April 2015), no changes necessary 3.7 4/12/14 Minor amendments to comply with the Whistleblowing Commission Code of Practice 5.3 Related Forms Kate Berchem Policy Coordinator DS 1307 Barrett DI 1097 Strong DI 1097 A Strong Policy Co-ordinator (6362) DI 1097 A Strong Force Ref. No. Title / Name Version No. Review Date 5.4 Document History Present Portfolio Holder Deputy Chief Constable Present Document Owner Head of Professional Standards Present Owning Department Professional Standards Department Details only required for version 1.0 and any major amendment ie 2.0 or 3.0: Name of Board: Professional Standards Board Date Approved: August 2000 Chief Officer Approving: Chief Constable Template version January

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