Police chiefs have admitted officers are being kept on duty and should be fired as they launch a promised crackdown on those who attack, abuse or harass women.
A series of scandals have shaken confidence in the police, with its leaders under pressure to do more to stamp out what one police chief called “toxic and [a] harm the culture.
The College of Policing, which covers England and Wales, said it wanted disciplinary tribunal chairmen to consider the effect on public confidence of leaving officers in office, particularly when were found to have harassed or attacked women.
It is the latest in a series of pledges after years of criticism of police chiefs for being defensive and slow to act. The plans are intended to cover allegations of racism and other discriminatory behavior.
Ministers are wary of police promises and it has emerged the government has accelerated its policing inquiry sparked by the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by an on-duty Metropolitan Police officer .
The college’s new plan – which sets standards for policing – lacks detail.
Their research found that when a disciplinary committee is chaired by an independent lawyer, it is more lenient than when it is chaired by a police chief.
Andy Marsh, head of the College of Policing, said: ‘There are people who stay in policing and I don’t think they should be in policing.
He added: ‘The guidelines say the outcome should be serious and it makes sense to me that any officer who abuses a woman should be sacked. We do not want any part of the policing system to allow, intentionally or unintentionally, the types of appalling behaviors raised in recent months to continue. »
Later he said, “Yes, there is evidence that the police are not robust enough to expose bad behavior.”
Craig Guildford, on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “These new guidelines give misconduct committees a clear direction that police services want to see behavior motivated by misogyny, racism or any other form of discrimination treated with the utmost seriousness. This supports all the recent work the police have undertaken to address violence against women and girls.
“It shows the public that we are committed to eliminating toxic behavior and harmful culture.”
Besides the scandal caused by Everard’s murder in March 2021, revelations about misogynistic and racist WhatsApp groups containing officers have further undermined public trust.
The government has set up an inquiry chaired by Dame Elish Angiolini. Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘I have made it clear that I expect the police to have the basics of policing and serving the public.
“The second part of the Angiolini Inquiry will be presented to examine broader issues in policing, such as vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behavior. These issues have undermined public confidence in policing and that must change.