A group of influential MPs has called for police officers guilty of serious misconduct to have their pensions docked. The Home Affairs Select Committee recommended the measure as a way of tackling rare cases of "corruption and incompetence".
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents tens of thousands of officers, has said that the recommendations from the Home Affairs Select Committee could lead to greater confusion:
We remain to be convinced that creating a new code of ethics would be any more effective than that which already exists and one that we believe already demands the highest standards of each and every police officer.
Further, there will be considerable cost in creating yet another discipline body within the College of Policing, along with forces themselves, the IPCC and the HMIC.
Financial concerns aside, this is also likely to lead to overlaps, gaps and confusion over decision making in relation to discipline matters.
Integrity in policing is paramount, but knee jerk reaction to historic cases and those involving an extremely small minority of the 134,000 officers who police this country with absolute commitment should not dictate future policy making.
– spokeswoman, Police Federation of England and Wales
Keith Vaz, the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has said that some police are able to "get away with corruption and incompetence" because of "broken systems of accountability". He said:
Broken systems of accountability and a patchwork of police standards and training, have allowed a minority of officers to get away with corruption and incompetence which is blighting an otherwise excellent service with dedicated officers.
The days of Dixon of Dock Green are over. The new landscape of policing requires a new type of police officer ready to meet the new challenges.
Honesty, integrity and transparency are essential components of the policing DNA.