NARPO – The voice of retired police officers
NARPO – The voice of retired police officers

Commenting on the powers contained within the new Policing and Crime Bill where officers subject to a misconduct allegation within 12 months of resigning or retiring would be liable to face disciplinary proceedings Steve Edwards Chief Executive of NARPO said:

“There seems to be in our view a huge misconception that somehow Police Officers can resign or retire and thus avoid any investigation whatsoever.

Obviously this is not true; if an allegation were of a serious nature then it must be remembered that both during and after their service Police Officers are subject of criminal law and cannot avoid a criminal investigation into alleged wrongdoing.

It is difficult to see the value of this new power as the sanctions available are relevant to their employment within the Police service and not relevant once they have left the service. We would also question why the Police Service appears to have been singled out as after all there are other public services with similar misconduct systems.”

Steve Edwards also raised concerns about the increase in historical inquiries after the Government suggested it could launch an inquiry into the events at Orgreave during the miners’ strike:

“It must be remembered that these incidents arose quite some time ago and were set against a totally different political backdrop to the one we have now, and whilst we do not condone in any way unlawful behaviour, it is a fact that many of those police officers involved are now quite elderly, some of them will be vulnerable individuals with disabilities and illnesses and we would question whether another enquiry is the right thing to do and we would wonder what such enquiry would seek to achieve.

Any investigation in relation to events during the miners’ dispute must involve investigations into the tactics employed not just by Police Forces but by the NUM and by the Government of the day.

We would question the purpose of another long protracted investigation that no doubt would involve many hours work and at a considerable cost to the taxpayer.”