Police disciplinary hearings to be public

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GROSS misconduct hearings for police are to be held in public.

Sussex Police have announced they are making plans to hold future disciplinary hearings in public following new legislation that came into force on Friday.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, announced the new regulations on March 12 to make them more open and visible and to increase the protection available for whistleblowers.

From January next year, all those chairing the hearings must also be legally qualified.

Superintendent Lisa Bell, head of Sussex Police’s professional standards department, said: ‘We are very open to being as transparent as possible in all of our work and this is an important aspect of ensuring that our disciplinary processes are similarly visible to the public.

‘In recognition of the important position of trust we hold in society, we also have a responsibility to ensure that people who work for us meet the very high standards of honesty and integrity that we demand and expect.

‘There are no dates set at this stage for any hearings, but details of how members of the public will be able attend them will be available on our website – sussex.police.uk – in due course’.