Weightmans has a specialist team advising on police conduct matters to appropriate authorities. We advise on all aspects of the case including procedure, disclosure, evidence and the presentation of cases at pre hearings and final hearings.
We understand that police conduct is one of the most difficult jobs in policing. At any one time you will be dealing with the expectations of the public for honesty and integrity within the police service, the needs of complainants who are often victims, media interest, scrutiny by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the high expectations of Chief Officers, welfare issues for witnesses and the rights of officers to a fair hearing. And that is before you become involved in difficult legal discussions with legally qualified chairs (LQCs) and the legal teams representing the officers.
Close support for professional standards departments
Weightmans team possess the three key things which are needed to confront all these issues – experience, sensitivity to the complicated politics attaching to these matters and a very close working relationship with professional standard departments.
We are committed to contributing to the success of our client’s police discipline programmes. Our approach is borne out of decades of working closely with professional standards departments.
John Riddell, who leads the team has a wealth of experience having worked on all six sets of regulations which have been in force since the complaints and discipline regime was initiated under PACE in 1984 and leads the team.
John’s team have received additional support and mentoring from leading Counsel, John Beggs QC.
Sensitivity to the complicated politics and expectations of police conduct comes with experience but also legal knowledge.
An extension of your team
As well as doing the normal things of taking instructions and providing regular updates, Heads of PSD are provided with monthly meetings and case reviews, an open phone line so officers can call with any query that is concerning them and early interventions with investigating officers so that procedural and evidential issues can be ironed out at an early stage.
We understand that public confidence and accountability rests upon the system. It has been transformed since the early days of PACE and the early regulations. The advent of public hearings, the IOPC and 2020 regulations have made the regime more challenging and exacting but there’s no doubt that public confidence and accountability has been increased as a result. We work with you to continue that progress.