A NEW code of ethics is being embraced by Gloucestershire Police.

Developed by the College of Policing, the new legal framework sets out the standards of behaviour the public can expect from all officers and police staff in England and Wales at every level, whatever their role.

It is a first for policing in England and Wales and is set to be laid before Parliament as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

To mark its official launch, the college asked 2,043 members of the public how they might deal with some of the ethical dilemmas faced each day by those in policing.

Over two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) said they would not want to be in the police's position when making those decisions and 40 per cent felt the challenges facing them were harder than they previously thought.

Gloucestershire police assistant chief constable Sally Crook said she welcomed the new code, after working on a draft for many months.

“We are using the code to help us reinforce and deliver the highest professional standards and to guide our behaviour both on and off duty,” she said.

“The vast majority of those who work for the constabulary already comply with the code and behave ethically, responsibly and selflessly in all they do, serving the community of Gloucestershire.”

“The public justifiably expect the police to do the right thing in the right way. The new Code will therefore give our communities and the public in general, a baseline for our standards and our principles so that they can challenge us when they feel that decisions are not in line with these principles.”