An analysis of disciplinary hearings against police officers

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Wolverhampton

In Collaboration With

West Midlands Police

Principal Researcher

Professor Kate Moss

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

September 2017

Research Context

The aim of this research is to analyse the issues of time and motivation lost in protracted disciplinary hearings against police officers, especially those where the officer is cleared of any misconduct. We see this as especially pernicious in its effects on what happens later; either the officer choosing to leave the service or remaining but having become demotivated. We do not believe that this type of research has been carried out yet and therefore presents a key gap for the police, the results of which would be a significant contribution to knowledge for all forces.

Research Methodology

​We envisage modest research comprising three elements:

  1. Interviews with Federation officials to construct flow charts of the stages through which misconduct cases progress, and the time taken at each stage. The ideal/typical chart would then be compared with the stages in discipline hearings for other professions, insofar as they are available.
  2. Interviews with officers who have been through the process and cleared, about their experiences, and how they felt they were treated at each stage by the force, the Federation and the legal representation assigned to their case.
  3. Preparation of a report making recommendations about delay-reducing possibilities in such cases and the force’s welfare obligations and practices towards officers charged with misconduct.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

April 2019
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