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Conditions of entry for attending a public misconduct hearing

The Police (Conduct) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 direct that misconduct hearings and special case hearings will be held in public subject to the discretion of the person chairing or conducting the hearing to exclude any person from all or part of the hearing.

Any member of the public or press wishing to attend a misconduct hearing may do so but due to limitations on space and capacity, attendance at the hearing is administered and booked by application.  See individual misconduct notices for details on how to book.

Hearings are held in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:-

The Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 Home Office Guidance - Unsatisfactory Performance, Complaints and Misconduct Procedures

Panel composition

The hearing will be conducted by a panel of three people. It will be chaired by a senior police officer who has had no previous dealings with the incident or with the investigation. The senior police officer, of Chief Officer (NPCC) rank, is referred to as the Panel Chair and will be joined by a police officer of superintending rank, who has also had no previous dealings with the case, and an independent lay person who has been selected from an approved list held by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. As of 1st January 2016, all misconduct hearing Panel Chairs will be independent and legally qualified.

A fast track hearing will be presided over by the Chief Constable.

Purpose of public hearing

Misconduct hearings are held to present the facts of the case and allow officers to give an explanation of their conduct and the circumstances surrounding the allegation. Witnesses may also be called to be questioned. The purpose of a public hearing is to show that the

Police disciplinary system is open and honest, fair and effective and that we effectively hold corrupt officers, or those that are found guilty of misconduct, accountable for their actions.

Throughout the hearing, officers are given the opportunity to speak personally or have their legal representative and/or appointed Federation friend to speak on their behalf.

The burden of proof remains with Lincolnshire Police throughout and the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities, unless facts are admitted.

The hearing is conducted in two parts. The first part considers the facts of the allegation against the officer. At the end of this examination of facts, the Panel retire and decide whether the officer’s conduct amounts to gross misconduct, misconduct, or neither. A finding of gross misconduct means that the matter is deemed so serious that dismissal may be justified.

If it is established to the Panel’s satisfaction that the officer’s conduct did fail to meet the required standards, the second part of the hearing will determine the outcome. In considering the outcome, the Panel will take into account any aggravating or mitigating factors and consider evidence of the officer’s character and record of service.

All misconduct hearings will be in public, subject to any representations made by the officer and or witness, and considerations made by the Chair. Notice of a public hearing will be made not less than 5 working days prior to the hearing. Should the hearing, or part of the hearing, be in private reasons will be given and published.

Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Chair will decide whether to publish a notice which may contain:

  1. Name of the officer concerned
  2. Alleged conduct of the officer
  3. Finding
  4. Outcome

Please note:

  • If you are a witness to a listed hearing, you will not be eligible for a public seat.
  • There may be occasions when a hearing is cancelled at short notice.

Members of the public

Please bring with you your confirmation email and sign in at reception at Police HQ. You will also need to bring supporting photographic identification (such as a passport or driver’s licence) and proof of address (such as a recent utility bill). As a condition of entry, police staff will check your identification documents against those provided in your application to attend.

The regulations state that the Chair may also impose further conditions of entry in addition to those set out in this document. If this arises the further conditions will be published on the Lincolnshire Police website prior to the hearing.

Members of the press

Please bring with you your confirmation email and sign in at reception at Police HQ. You will also need to bring your accredited Press Pass and/or photographic identification (such as a passport or driver’s licence). As a condition of entry, police staff will check your identification documents against those provided in your application to attend.

The regulations state that the Chair may also impose further conditions of entry in addition to those set out in this document. If this arises the further conditions will be published on the website prior to the hearing.

Individuals will be escorted around the building at all time and will required to sign in and out when accessing or leaving Police HQ.

You must comply with evacuation procedures as documented below. Should you sign out, and then wish to re-attend, you will only be allowed re-entry during a natural break in proceedings.

Should you wish to leave at any point during the hearing, you will be escorted by a member of staff.

Cameras

The taking of pictures is forbiddenwithin the public hearing rooms, the surrounding vicinity and anywhere else within the immediate areas outside. Any photographs that are taken inside must be organised with and authorised by with a member of press office staff. 

Smoking

Smoking is not allowed inside Police HQ.

Disabled access

People who are deaf or disabled are welcome to attend. Visitors with hearing impairments must arrange their own interpreters, if required. Space is set aside for wheelchair users and assistance dogs. Accessible toilets are available.

Parking

We have parking facilities and designated disabled and Visitor spaces at the front of Police HQ.

Start times

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the stipulated start of the hearing, details of which can be found on the Lincolnshire Police website.

Conduct within the misconduct hearing room

Members of the public and press are requested to remain silent at all times whilst the hearing is in session.

All mobile phones, pagers, recording machines or other electronic items must be switched off in the public hearing rooms (exception for Media).

Only accredited members of the press will be allowed to use text based communications for the purposes of simultaneous reporting of proceedings if the person chairing or conducting the proceedings is satisfied that it does not interfere with the orderly conduct of proceedings.

The use of recording or photographic equipment is strictly forbidden in the public hearing rooms. Any person found to be using such equipment will be asked to leave by police staff.

No person is permitted to make, or attempt to make asketch of the hearing room of any person, being a panel member, or witness or other interested party to the misconduct proceedings.

Laptops, tablets and mobile phones may be used by accredited members of the press for the purpose of writing.

Tweeting and posting on social media social media is only allowed by accredited members of the press using laptops or tablets.

No-one attending the public hearing rooms shall either intervene in or interrupt the running of the hearing. If anyone behaves in a disorderly or abusive manner or otherwise acts inappropriately in the view of the Chair, the member of police staff may exclude them from the remainder of the hearing. Should anyone breach these conditions of entry and refuse to leave, you will be ejected.

Members of the public and press will not be allowed to enter or leave the public hearing rooms whilst it is in session.

If exceptional circumstances make it necessary to leave the public hearing room, it is requested that individuals do so as quietly as possible and during a natural lull in proceedings, such as a change over in witnesses. You will not be allowed unescorted in the building. Re-entry to the public hearing room will be facilitated at the next adjournment.

Fire and evacuation instructions

Action on discovering a fire

If you discover a fire, alert others by operating the nearest fire alarm call point by breaking the glass on the nearest ‘Break Glass’ call point. Leave the building by the nearest safe fire exit. Fire marshals, dressed in high visibility jackets, will be available to aid your safe exit from the building.

On hearing the fire alarm

The fire alarm is both a siren and spoken voice. Please follow the instructions given over the public address system. You are required to leave the building immediately by the nearest safe. You will be directed to leave the premises and gather at the nearest fire assembly point. Do not leave the Assembly Point until so instructed by the Fire Marshal or Fire and Rescue personnel.

Remember, do not:

  • Take Risks
  • Stop to collect personal belongings
  • Use Lifts
  • Re-enter the buildings for any reason, until authorised to do so
  • Do not drive away from the site. This causes confusion as to where you are and also can cause accidents with vehicles moving amongst pedestrians.

Assistance required? If you are unable to undertake the fire evacuation process detailed above - please inform the reception staff upon your arrival. An evacuation plan will be prepared for you and will take into account your personal requirements and will be designed to allow you safe egress from the building during an emergency.

18 Aug 17 4:10 PM

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