The understanding of the Code of Ethics for police: Does the Code achieve what it was designed for?

In Collaboration With

Metropolitan Police Service

Principal Researcher

Graeme Dixon

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2019

Research Context

This primary empirical research is part of a MSc degree, which is part-funded by the MPS.

This research will look at the Code of Ethics for police and will focus in particular on how well it is known within policing. The College of Policing has introduced the Code of Ethics as the first part of their Professionalism Agenda.  The success of this implementation has not been measured, and knowing how well it was introduced may assist the next strand of the Professionalism Agenda, ie the PEQF. In addition, officers can only be held to account within policing for breaching the standards covered by the Code of Ethics, so this study may identify whether a lack of knowledge is resulting in an increase in officer disciplinary cases.

The aim of the research is to measure how well-known the Code is amongst officers and to gauge whether the training in the Code is useful.  Ultimately, this research is intended to inform whether the Code has been embraced within policing as it was intended to be.

Research Methodology

The researcher has designed a survey with questions testing perceived knowledge of the Code of Ethics using a Likert scale to measure the knowledge.  There are also open questions to encourage written answers looking at what participants think a Code of Ethics should include.

The questionnaire will be sent out to MPS officers via intermediaries with the aim of receiving 200-250 responses.

Date due for completion

September 2020
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