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High threshold' for officers to be removed from barred list


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College says officers dismissed for gross misconduct or incompetence can apply to have their details wiped after minimum terms.


'High threshold' for officers to be removed from barred list

Date - 21st January 2021
By - Gary Mason

Officers who have been dismissed for gross incompetence and gross misconduct and placed on the Barred List will be able to apply to have their names removed from it after three or five years.

In a change to the system announced by the College of Policing which will apply from January 23 this year, dismissed officers and staff will be able to apply to CoP to have their details removed. The College will then carry out checks including consulting the force where the applicant was serving when they were sacked.

But the College has warned there will be a “high threshold” for deciding in favour of an individual being removed from the Barred List in order to recommence a career in policing.

Although successful applicants will have their details removed it is likely in most forces that their previous conduct will remain part of the vetting process.

Sample vetting forms provided in the College of Policing’s Vetting APP: Appendix-1-Sample-recruitment-vetting-form.pdf (college.police.uk) include a question about whether an individual has had any involvement in misconduct or disciplinary proceedings and whether they have been on the police Barred or Advisory Lists. Forces will base their own local vetting forms on these sample forms.

A spokesman for the College told Police Oracle: "The national recruitment application form for police does not mention the Barred List but force vetting, at the vetting stage, will ask an individual about any previous service with other police forces which will reveal any misconduct history that will be considered in the process."

The last published version of the list showed that there were more than 250 officers added over a 12-month period across all ranks up to assistant chief constable.

There were also nearly 140 police staff and Specials added over the same period,

Officers who want to apply in order to rejoin a force will be able to do so after a minimum of three years in cases involving gross incompetence and five years for gross misconduct,

The force will consider the application and make a recommendation to the College, taking into account a number of factors, including:

whether the individual has demonstrated their suitability to return to policing
the circumstances which led to the original decision/finding
the impact removing an individual’s barred status might have on public confidence in the police
The College will make the final decision about whether it is appropriate for the individual’s details to be removed or if the application should be rejected.

Should an application be rejected the former officer or staff member will be informed by the College about the earliest date when they would be able to request a further review.

The process will not review the reasons for the original dismissal, and will only consider whether it is proportionate for the individual to remain on the Barred List according to CoP.  

The College said the review process had been agreed with the National Police Chiefs' Council and the Home Office “after extensive consultation with officers, staff and other police stakeholders.”

The Barred List was introduced after the Policing and Crime Act 2017 made it a requirement for all Home Office police forces in England and Wales to inform the College of Policing of conduct or performance dismissals.

Richard Bennett, head of uniformed policing at the College of Policing said: “The process we have put in place balances the rights of individuals to appeal against their details being included on the Barred List with ensuring the public can be confident that only suitable individuals are able to work in policing.

“Our guidance is clear that the threshold for successful applications is high and the onus is on the individual to put forward a compelling case to the College, and their former force, which demonstrates that they would now be a suitable person to be considered for re-employment in policing."

View On Police Oracle


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