Police officers should have their pensions docked as punishment for the most serious cases of misconduct in a bid to improve ethics within the service, a group of influential MPs has said.
In a report on policing standards, the Home Affairs Select Committee has recommended that a scale of fines should be established to tackle corruption among officers.
The Committee has also called for a new code of ethics to be established and for all new officers to obtain a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing.
The report comes shortly after fresh allegations were made against the Metropolitan Police that undercover officers spied on members of murdered Stephen Lawrence's family.
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.
– spokeswoman, Police Federation of England and Wales
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.
A report into policing standards says the alleged corruption and incompetence at Cleveland Police must have shaken the faith of the public in their top officers.
The Home Affairs Committee report says that policing in Cleveland is notable for the series of alleged on-going scandals.
The report calls for a new national police code of ethics and integrity and says that officers found guilty of serious misconduct should have their pensions cut.
The report also says that guidance issued by the College of Policing should be binding and Chiefs who do not follow them should be subject to fines and disciplinary proceedings.
– Home Affairs Committee report
"We make no comment on the individual cases in Cleveland, but a concentration of so many egregious cases of alleged corruption and incompetence must have shaken the faith of the public in their top officers."