Policy Details

Suspension from Duty

Dated: 30 Dec 2011

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

POLICY TITLE: Suspension from Duty

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Corporate and Strategic Services

AUTHOR: Chief Superintendent, Professional Standards

CONTACT DETAILS: 03456 043 043 Ext. 68901


AIM OF POLICY: To provide clear, objective criteria for consideration when deciding whether or not to suspend a police officer, member of police staff or member of the special constabulary from duty.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: Clear, objective, transparent and proportionate decision making about suspending individuals from duty; ensuring that the welfare needs and human rights of the individual being considered for suspension and others are taken into account.

REASON FOR POLICY: To fully comply with the statutory duties and responsibilities as set out in Regulation 10 of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008.


DESCRIPTION OF POLICY:

Northumbria Police will ensure that the decision to suspend a police officer, member of police staff or member of the special constabulary from duty is based upon clear, objective criteria and that the welfare needs and human rights of the suspended individual and others are taken into account.

The decision to suspend an individual will only be made where there is some evidence to substantiate the allegation and re-deployment is not practicable. Suspension from duty will only take place when lawful, and where it is necessary in the interests of national security and public safety, for the prevention of crime or disorder, to protect health, to protect the rights and freedoms of others, or to facilitate or ensure the integrity of an inquiry. The decision to suspend will be proportional to the harm which might otherwise occur and be the least intrusive act which would achieve the stated aims. Considerations may include reputational harm and the impact upon the wider work force.

It is considered that these criteria will be met only where the allegation is of a serious nature, involving dishonesty, other misconduct or crime, the circumstances of which if proved, would be likely to result in dismissal, and one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • Temporary redeployment to alternative duties/role or an alternative location is not appropriate in all the circumstances of the case and

  • The effective investigation of the matter may be prejudiced unless the individual concerned is suspended or

  • It is in the public's interest (giving regard to the nature of the report, complaint or allegation, and any other relevant considerations) that the individual concerned should be suspended.

Re-deployment to other duties will always be given consideration as an alternative to suspension where practicable within relevant regulations / conditions of employment.

Decisions made relating to suspension should be communicated to the victim for safety planning purposes the impact of suspension should be risk assessed against the circumstances and supportive measures put in place where necessary. Such cases give rise to a clear need to consider the public confidence implications of a decision not to suspend.

Where a decision is made not to suspend, consideration will be given to restricting the alleged offender's duties to those that do not include any matters relating to domestic violence, child protection and sexual offences.

The act of suspending a police officer, member of police staff or member of the special constabulary will not indicate that the individual is assumed to have committed any offence or misconduct.

All welfare facilities of the Force, including the use of the Occupational Health Unit, Human Resources Department will be open to suspended police officers, police staff and special constables. Access to 'operational' police premises will only be authorised by the relevant Area Commander / Head of Department after a risk assessment has been conducted.

Where an individual is to be suspended, the appropriate Force procedure relating to their role will be followed and restrictions on further employment/work outlined.


SOURCE DOCUMENT: Police (Conduct) Regulations 2004 (Regulation 4) pre 01/12/08 cases; Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 (Regulation 10) post 01/12/08 cases.

GROUPS AFFECTED: All police officers, staff and special constables.

ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE RESTRICTIONS: None


This instruction is designed to avoid discrimination and is not considered to have Human Rights implications