Police pass integrity testBy Karen Jordan
January 08, 2013
Recent developments over Hillsborough and the Andrew Mitchell ‘pleb’ row have lead to questions over police honesty.
People in Wokingham and Bracknell might be relieved to know Thames Valley Police has made good progress in the way it identifies, monitors and manages integrity issues, according to a recently released Government report.
In 2011, the Home Secretary asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to look at “instances of undue influence, inappropriate contractual arrangements and other abuses of power in police relationships with the media and other parties”.
While the resulting report, Without Fear or Favour, found no evidence that corruption was endemic, it did not issue a clean bill of health because of concerns over lack of guidance on how officers should interact with the media, use social media, and what second jobs were suitable.
Since then it has found that the force has updated most of its policies on these issues and officers and staff are clearer on what is expected of them.
Since September 2011, the force has investigated three instances of inappropriate disclosures to the media and the HMIC identified seven cases of inappropriate behaviour on Facebook or Twitter.
All but one of 129 applications for second jobs were approved.
HMIC for the Eastern Region Zoë Billingham said: “Thames Valley Police has made good progress in how it manages integrity issues since HMIC last reviewed this in 2011. There have been improvements in the way the force identifies and monitors integrity, and in the approach it takes to highlighting issues such as the inappropriate behaviour of staff using social media."
Ms Billingham was concerned though that changes to how the police service nationally monitors and safeguards relationships with the media, contractors and others were not being made quick enough.
For the full report for Thames Valley Police visit www.hmic.gov.uk