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Professional Standards Directorate

The Professional Standards Directorate (PSD) is a small team of specialist investigators trained to deal with public complaints and misconduct matters. Staff are independent to the matters involving your complaint.

The Directorate is an important part of the City of London Police, with responsibility of protecting the interests and integrity of the organisation professionally and ethically.

The Professional Standards Directorate strives to build on the excellent work and reputation of the City of London Police, accepting that the force constantly needs to improve and learn.

We continue to raise our standards in line with the College of Policing Code of Ethics and City of London Police Standards of Professional Behaviour, in doing so reassuring public confidence and respecting our force’s values of fairness, integrity and professionalism.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour

Members of the public have said they would not want to be in the position of police when faced with some of the decisions they have to make, a survey by the College of Policing has revealed.

The College of Policing asked 2,043 members of the public how they might deal with some of the ethical dilemmas faced each day by those in policing.

More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) said they wouldn’t want to be in the position of a police officer or staff member when making those decisions and 40% of those surveyed felt the challenges facing the police when making decisions were harder than they previously thought.

It also revealed there was not always a clear consensus among respondents on the best thing to do in the scenarios and most respondents did not always find it easy to decide what to do.

The Code of Ethics applies to more than 220,000 officers, police staff, contractors and volunteers working in policing.

It sets out the standards of behaviour that the public can expect from officers and staff at every role and at every level and will help guide decision making. The standards should empower everyone in policing to always do the right thing and feel confident to challenge colleagues irrespective of their rank, role or position.

The Code comes after the College of Policing was granted new powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to set codes of practice for police.

The Code of Ethics makes explicit the ethical principles that should guide the difficult decisions that everyone in policing has to make. The Code of Ethics clearly defines the expectations of standards and behaviour for everyone in policing and brings policing into line with other trusted professions such as medical and law.

The code sets out nine policing principles and ten standards of professional behaviour and encourages officers and staff to challenge those who fall short of the code, while at the same time protecting those who report genuine wrongdoing.

Policing Principles

  1. Accountability

  2. Fairness

  3. Honesty

  4. Integrity

  5. Leadership

  6. Objectivity

  7. Openness

  8. Respect

  9. Selflessness

It is important that you not only know the Policing Principles within the Code of Ethics but you understand them and use this understanding to inform your actions and decision making. If you follow this advice then it is highly improbable that you will ever fall short of any of the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

Standards of Professional Behaviour

  1. Honesty and Integrity

  2. Authority, respect and courtesy

  3. Equality and diversity

  4. Use of Force

  5. Orders and Instructions

  6. Duties and responsibilities

  7. Confidentiality

  8. Fitness for work

  9. Discreditable conduct

  10. Challenging and reporting improper conduct

The nine policing principles originate from the ‘Principles of Public Life’ published by the Committee on Standards in Public Life in 1995, as these continue to reflect public expectations.

The ten Standards of Professional Behaviour originate from the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 and from the Police Staff Council Joint Circular 54. In the Code of Ethics the wording of the standards has been adapted so that it applies to everyone. Where something applies solely to police officers, this is made clear.

For more information please contact 101.

Or visit the College of Policing web site