About misconduct hearings
We currently employ around 31,000 officers. Taking that figure and the nature of our operation into consideration, alleged transgressions of accepted practice or unlawful activity, whether or not they've passed through the legal courts system, are bound to arise. It’s our duty to investigate each case at public misconduct hearings.
The purpose of public hearings
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 give evidence.
The purpose of a public hearing is to show that our disciplinary system is open and transparent. It will demonstrate that we do hold officers who breach the standards of professional behaviour, or those where misconduct is found proven, accountable for their actions.
At each session, we reserve eight places for members of the public and four places for members of the press.
Who can attend?
Any member of the public or press can make a request to attend a misconduct hearing, provided they’re 18 or over.
We allocate places at the hearing on a first-come-first-served basis. You can apply using our booking form.
Please note that the Chair may also decide to impose other conditions before or during the hearing.
Any extra conditions established before the hearing will be noted within the hearing notice.
Apply to attend a hearingTo request a place at a hearing, please view the upcoming hearings and complete the quick and simple form. If a place is available we’ll send you a confirmation email within one working day.
On the day of the hearing, please bring with you:
- your printed confirmation email
- your passport or driving licence
- proof of your address, such as a recent utility bill
Sometimes a misconduct hearing is cancelled at short notice. In these situations we’ll do our best to notify you, but it may not be possible. We’re sorry if this happens to you.
Changes to expect
Sometimes a misconduct hearing is not held in public or only a part is heard in public. To decide this, the Chair takes into account:
- national security
- whether it interferes with the prevention or detection of crime
- the welfare of parties involved
If the Chair decides that the evidence to be given by a witness or anyone else should not be disclosed in public, they’ll ask that the public be removed from the hearing.
Use of mobiles and recording equipment
As part of the conditions of entry you must switch to silent all mobile phones, pagers, recording machines or other electronic items in the hearing rooms.
You’re strictly forbidden to use recording or photographic equipment in the hearing rooms. Anyone found to be using such equipment will be asked to leave by police staff.
Only accredited members of the press will be allowed to use text-based communications to report proceedings. They can do so if the Chair is satisfied that it doesn’t interfere with the proceedings.
We provide the following facilities to visitors who are deaf or less abled:
- an induction loop system
- space for wheelchair users and assistance dogs
- accessible toilets
Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide interpreters or subtitles.
Police appeals tribunals
Police appeals tribunals hear appeals against the findings of gross misconduct brought by police officers or special constables.
Members of the public can attend appeal hearings as observers but aren’t allowed to participate in proceedings.