Misconduct hearings are observed via a public gallery at the back of the hearing room at:
Palestra House 197 Blackfriars Rd London SE1 8NJ
The nearest underground station is Southwark on the Jubilee line.
The main hearing suite is at Palestra House but occasionally other locations may be used. This will be listed on the public notice.
These conditions of entry will apply to all hearing locations advertised.
If the hearing, or part of the hearing, is to be held in private, the reasons will be given and published.
If you're a witness to a listed hearing, you will not be eligible for a public seat.
There may be occasions when a hearing is cancelled or times changed at short notice.
Children are not eligible to book seats in the public gallery.
A limited number of seats have been set aside for members of the public and accredited press reporters/media representatives. Seats are allocated in advance on a first come first served basis.
You must book no later than 1pm Monday to Friday the previous working day, we'll be unable to process any bookings received after this time.
If you have accessibility difficulties, please let the hearings unit know when you apply. Wherever possible we'll make reasonable adjustments to help with your viewing of the proceedings and this will be considered on a case by case basis.
Entry to the hearing
When you arrive, please go to the reception desk.
You must bring with you:
your personal registration letter (confirmation email) that was issued to you by the Hearings Unit
photographic identification, such as a passport or driver’s licence
proof of address, such as a recent utility bill
As a condition of entry, Met staff will check your identification documents against your application to attend.
The regulations state that the chair may also impose further conditions of entry in addition to those set out here. If this happens, the further conditions will be published on the website before the hearing.
Members of the public and press sit together.
Any bags may be searched as a condition of entry. Sharp objects or blades will not be permitted. Police will retain the authority to seize any article found during a search which may cause harm to any person.
Observers will be provided with a pass which must be worn until you leave the hearing and exit the building via reception. You will be escorted at all times whilst visiting any Met or, in the case of Palestra House, TFL building.
If you decide to leave the hearing, and then wish to re-attend, you'll only be allowed re-entry during a natural break in proceedings. You may be subject to another security search.
Cameras must not be brought inside the building.
Camera functions on other devices must not be operated anywhere inside the building. Taking pictures is strictly forbidden within the hearing suite, or within Palestra House.
Failure to comply with this requirement will result in you being directed to leave and escorted off the premises.
Smoking or vaping is not allowed anywhere inside the Met premises or Palestra House.
People who have a hearing impairment or are disabled are welcome to attend.
For people with impaired hearing an AV induction loop system is available, if required.
Visitors with hearing impairments must arrange their own interpreters, if required.
Space is set aside for wheelchair users and assistance dogs.
In order to comply with health and safety in the event of an evacuation only one wheelchair user is permitted per day as there is only one lift.
Accessible toilets are available.
There are no parking facilities available to hearing observers.
After you've passed through reception, you'll be greeted by Met staff and escorted to the hearing suite viewing area.
You should arrive at the reception area at least 15 minutes before the start time. This will allow time for individuals to be searched, escorted and seated in the public hearing room.
Entry will not be permitted once the hearing is in session and late attendees will be required to wait for the next break in proceedings.
It may be necessary for the hearing to be adjourned (postponed). The panel chair will announce the adjournment, the reason for it and if possible, the time when hearing will restart. During adjournments, other than for lunch, members of the public and press should remain in the public hearing room.
The hearing will stop for lunch at a convenient point in proceedings for approximately one hour. A return time to restart proceedings will be announced by the panel chair.
The panel will normally rise each weekday around 5pm or at a convenient point in proceedings.
Once the hearing has concluded for the day you will be expected to leave the building and return your identity pass to the security staff. You will be escorted by Met (or security) staff off the premises.
You are required to make your own arrangements for lunch and any refreshments.
You must return to the building in time to repeat signing in and being searched. You should allow 15 minutes to avoid being late and disturbing the resumed hearing.
There are no facilities to buy food or refreshments in the hearing’s suite/s.
There are a number of cafes and food outlets in the local vicinity.
There are toilet facilities.
Disabled toilets are also provided. A beacon/buzzer is located above the toilet door for monitoring by staff on site.
Conduct in the hearing viewing room
Members of the public and press are requested to remain silent at all times whilst the hearing is in session.
The use of recording or photographic equipment is strictly forbidden in the public hearing rooms; anyone found to be using such equipment will be asked to leave by Met staff.
No person is permitted to make, or attempt to make a sketch of the hearing room of any person, being a panel member, or witness or other interested party to the misconduct proceedings.
All mobile phones, pagers, recording machines or other electronic items must be switched off in the public hearing rooms and are not allowed to be used when the hearing is in session. 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.
Tweeting/text based communications are only allowed by accredited members of the press using laptops or tablets and are not permitted from mobile phones.
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 Met 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.
Laptops and tablets may only be used by accredited members of the press association.
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 changeover in witnesses.
During the course of the proceedings, the panel chair may provide brief explanations about the procedure to be followed.
Fire, evacuation and first aid instructions
Fire action notices are displayed at every ‘break glass’ call point throughout the building.
If you discover a fire, alert others by operating the nearest fire alarm call point by breaking the glass.
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.
the fire alarm is both a siren and spoken voice; please follow the instructions given over the public address system
leave the building immediately by the nearest safe exit
do not stop to collect personal belongings
you'll be directed to leave the premises and to disperse, you'll then be contacted via your supplied contact details once it is announced that it is safe to return to the building.
If you have an accident in the building, please tell a member of Met staff who will contact a first aider. The first aider will offer first aid and contact the emergency services, if required. All accidents will be logged with the building management.
Should anyone breach these conditions of entry, they will be asked to leave and will be escorted from the premises.