Police Superintendents' Association Press Release re Police Integrity

Tuesday, 12 February, 2013

In response to Home Secretary's statement in the House about police integrity earlier today, Derek Barnett, President of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales said:

"The predominantly unarmed Police Service in England and Wales succeeds on the basis of its legitimacy which is acquired through public consent, and I understand the impact that public perception has on that legitimacy and the confidence our communities have in the Police. I welcome the Home Secretary's comments that, despite a small number of high profile cases, all recent examinations of police integrity have found that corruption is not endemic in the Police Service. Indeed as crime continues to fall, the measures of public confidence continue to rise."

"I also share the desire of the Home Secretary to improve further the confidence that the public has in the Police Service at a time when it has come under intense scrutiny following a number of high profile media cases, some of which, it is important to remember, are yet to be fully investigated."

"The Home Secretary has recognised that the vast majority of officers and staff at all ranks and grades are honest, dedicated public servants who care deeply about their responsibility to keep the public safe. The thousands of interactions between the police and the public on a daily basis result in a proportionately tiny number of complaints, the overwhelming majority of which do not relate to serious misconduct. However we can never afford to become complacent and clearly recent media coverage concerning allegations about a small number of individuals at various ranks, undoubtedly has the potential to harm the previous high levels of public confidence in the Service. The public should be reassured that everyone in the Police Service wants to see this very small number of dishonest and corrupt officers removed as quickly as possible - they let themselves, their colleagues and the public down by their actions."

"The Police Superintendents' Association supports the majority of the measures outlined by the Home Secretary that seek to increase standards of professionalism and we will work closely with College of Policing to identify how improvements can be made, including the further development of future leadership training based on the outcome of independent research into leadership and integrity. As the senior operational leaders in the service we accept that we have a key role to play in leading our staff, and where appropriate challenging Chief Officers in a way that demonstrates integrity and the other important values which underpin the British Police Service in order that high levels of public confidence can be restored."

"A number of the measures announced today lack detail and we would seek to be involved in consultation about how these measures are taken forward, and in particular in relation to the transfer of resources to the IPCC."

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