Police in South West to take a new oath as part of code of ethics

POLICE leaders across the South West have signed their forces up to a new code of ethics.

The region’s five Police and Crime Commissioners agreed to the new College of Policing Code of Ethics at their regional meeting on Wednesday, November 27 at the Avon and Somerset Police headquarters in Portishead.

The new code would see every police officer abide to a Hippocratic Oath similar to those taken by doctors.

A national register of officers who have been sacked from the service will also be set up for the first time by the College of Policing.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens was alongside regional leaders Angus McPherson, Tony Hogg, Martyn Underhill and Martin Surl, who agreed in absentia, to back the new code.

She said: "I think many residents would rightly expect a code like this to be in place within the police service.

"There have been a number of high profile cases lately that have called into question the standards of behaviour of police officers and many people have been shocked by what has happened.

"While most police officers are dedicated and hard-working, any poor behaviour damages the reputation and legitimacy of the police service and erodes the trust and confidence of local people. I hope new measures will help assure the public of the standards we expect from our police service."

The College of Policing will be consulting on the new code until next spring, after which changes will be adopted by the five police forces.

This Code is aligned with existing police regulations and professional standards and has been influenced by the Code of Ethics put in place when the Police Service of Northern Ireland was established.

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