The Police (Conduct) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (2015 amendments) direct that misconduct hearings and special case hearings will be held in public, subject to the discretion of the person chairing or conducting the hearing to exclude any person from all or part of the hearing.
Any member of the public or press wishing to attend a misconduct hearing may apply to do so. Attendance at the hearings will be limited and administered and booked by application through this site.
Hearings are held in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:-
The Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 (amended 2015)
Home Office Guidance - Unsatisfactory Performance, Complaints and Misconduct Procedures
All attendees at Devon & Cornwall Police Misconduct Hearings will view the proceedings in a public hearing room, on a screen via an electronic link. (This may not apply to interested persons or complainants)
The hearing will be conducted by a panel of three people, and will be chaired by an independent legally-qualified chair who has had no previous dealings with the incident or with the investigation. The other panel members will be an officer of at least the rank of Superintendent and an independent lay person selected from an approved list held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Purpose of Public Hearing
The purpose of a public hearing is to show that the Police disciplinary system is open and honest, fair and effective, and that the service holds officers to account for their actions.
Throughout the hearing, officers are given the opportunity to speak personally, or have their legal representative and/or appointed Police Federation friend speak on their behalf.
The burden of proof remains with the Appropriate Authority of the Devon and Cornwall Police, and the standard of proof is the civil one of “on balance of probabilities”, unless the facts are admitted. The panel then have to be satisfied that it is more likely than not that the conduct alleged has occurred in order to find that a case is proven against the officer.
The hearing is conducted in two parts. The first part considers the facts of the allegation against the officer. At the end of this examination of facts, the Panel retire and decide whether the officer’s conduct amounts to gross misconduct, misconduct or neither. A finding of gross misconduct means that the matter is deemed so serious that dismissal may be justified.
If it is established to the Panel’s satisfaction that the officer’s conduct did fail to meet the required standards, the second part of the hearing will determine the outcome of the proceedings.
All misconduct hearings will be in public, subject to any representations made by the officer concerned, the Appropriate Authority, the complainant, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), any interested person and/or any witness(es), and considerations made by the Panel Chair.
Notice of a public hearing will be made not less than 5 working days prior to the hearing. Should the hearing, or part of the hearing, be in private, reasons for this will be given and published on the website.
Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Chair will decide whether to publish an outcome notice in relation to the proceedings.