04/2012 – Code of Conduct – 22 November 2012

Executive Summary and recommendation:

There is no statutory requirement for the local elected policing body to approve a Code of Conduct for themselves or any Deputy that they appoint. However, it is considered good practice that the PCC should voluntarily adopt such a Code and should seek to adopt a scheme whereby PCCs/DPCCs should voluntarily declare and publish any personal interest they hold which could conflict with their duties.

This report recommends that the Commissioner should adopt such arrangements.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision:

Approved

jm-signature
22 November 2012

Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

Introduction and background

Whilst there is no explicit statutory requirement on them to do so, Police and Crime Commissioners are recommended voluntarily to adopt a Code of Conduct which prescribes their behaviours when undertaking their functions. Similarly, PCCs are recommended to adopt a scheme whereby they register, and publish, any personal interests they might have which might influence, or be perceived to influence, the way they fulfil their functions.

All good governance standards and guidance emphasise the point that institutional leaders should clearly define the standards of behaviour that they expect of themselves as a way of establishing the standards that they expect of others. Police Officers and Police Staff each have codes of conduct in place, and an obligation to declare interests, gifts and hospitality and it would be perverse if the Governance Body did not have something similar.

Matters for consideration

As part of work towards transition, the attached Code of Conduct and Interests registration arrangements – Appendix – have been drafted nationally, by the Association of Police Authority Chief Executives for consideration by Commissioners. The Code is heavily based on Codes in use throughout local government and beyond, for elected members and staff, and is fully compliant with the 7 principles of conduct in public life – the Nolan Principles.

If adopted, either in this form of similar, this Code and the Declaration of Interests, would be published on the Commissioner’s website.

Clearly, if adopted, such a Code could also be used by the Police and Crime Panel as the basis of assessing any complaints it receives about the conduct of the local policing body. Indeed, given that statutory responsibility of the Panel, even if the Commissioner does not wish to adopt such arrangements, it could well be that the Panel would nevertheless encourage the PCCV top do so.

Other options considered, if any

None.

Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

This recommendation is fundamental to establishing effective and efficient governance arrangements within the police service and to the Commissioner’s public accountability credentials.

Consultations carried out

The draft Code has been prepared by APACE in consultation with the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), Police Authority Treasurers’ Society (PATS) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), as well as with Home Office officials.

Financial Implications/Value for money

None

Legal Implications

None

Equality Implications

None.

Tick to confirm statement √
Director/Chief Officer COR Carter has reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities.
Legal Advice Legal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge.
Financial Advice The CC CFO has both been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice
Equalities Advice An assessment has been made of the equality impact of this proposal. Either there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.
I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision Jeremy HoldernessDate 22nd November 2012
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