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Wednesday 2 November 2022

Surrey Police response to HMICFRS report regarding an inspection of vetting, misconduct and misogyny in the police service

Hundreds of people in England and Wales have been cleared to serve in the police when they should have failed vetting procedures.

The police watchdog found some officers passed checks despite having criminal records or family links to organised crime.

Its investigation was set up after Sarah Everard was kidnapped in Clapham and murdered by a serving police officer.

The home secretary says "culture and standards" in the police need to change and the "public's trust in policing restored".

Suella Braverman has responded to the shocking report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary which found that hundreds of officers who should have failed vetting checks had been employed.

It seems some officers have relatives linked to organised crime, while others have criminal records.

Ms Braverman says the report must be acted on as a "matter of urgency".

Surrey Police's statement in full: 

"Surrey Police remains determined to root out any individual not fit to serve the county and its communities. 

We have made a commitment that Surrey will be a county that is not only safe, but feels safe and having the trust and confidence of the public is critical. That’s why we remain focused on identifying and removing any officer or member of staff who compromises our standards or integrity.

Launched in 2020, our Force Commitments set out the “high standards and ethical behaviour” we expect of all of our staff and that “we will respect and reflect the differences in the communities we serve”.

We therefore welcome the publication of the HMICFRS report into vetting, corruption, and misconduct published today. Many of the recommendations focus on areas where we have already carried out significant work and rigorous procedures are already in place within our Professional Standards Department to deal with misconduct swiftly and robustly.

While it is widely acknowledged that misogyny is endemic in society, our position remains clear that behaviours of this kind have no place in our force.

We were one of the first forces to openly discuss misogyny and sexism within the workplace with the launch of our internal campaign, Not In My Force, in 2020 which has since been picked up and replicated by other forces nationally. This was followed up by a “Let’s Talk About Gender” Toolkit encouraging discussions within teams across the force. Earlier this year we also introduced a Sexual Harassment Toolkit, which provides guidance to officers and staff on how to challenge and report such behaviour.

Today’s report highlights the potential risks associated with the national police officer uplift programme and the maintenance of standards due to the “size and speed of the programme”. In Surrey, as we have increased officer numbers, we have continued to maintain robust vetting procedures for all new joiners and transferees in accordance with the College of Policing Vetting Code of Practice and the associated Authorised Professional Practice (APP).

We recognise however, that there is still work to be done in support of the commitments we have made and we will carefully consider the recommendations within HMICFRS’s report making any changes that are required."

posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 4:40 pm  

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