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PCCs across the region join forces to recruit legally qualified chairs

As an overhaul of the police complaints system gets underway, Police and Crime Commissioners across the Eastern region have worked together to recruit lawyers to chair public hearings into allegations of police misconduct.

From January 1 2016, police misconduct panels will be chaired by legally qualified chairs rather than senior police officers, as part of efforts by the government to make the process more transparent.

Within the Eastern Region, Police and Crime Commissioners for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk have recruited 17 lawyers to preside over hearings held in each of the counties.

The successful candidates were required to demonstrate integrity, sound judgement, objectivity and a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. They have been appointed on an initial four year term to chair hearings as and when required, and will undergo training to assist them in their role.

Sir Graham Bright, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, said, “Any case of wrongdoing has to be dealt with appropriately and in a manner that the public can have confidence in.  I therefore welcome the appointment of the Chairs, which brings further transparency to policing.”

Information on how members of the public can attend disciplinary hearings will be published on the relevant Constabulary’s website.