Public misconduct hearings
From the 1 May 2015 Police Forces have been required to hold Gross Misconduct Hearings in Public.
This will enhance the transparency of police disciplinary processes by allowing members of the public to observe proceedings and is consistent with disciplinary processes for other professions. As this is primarily an employment process, the effective management and conduct of proceedings remains the responsibility of the Chief Constable, as they have overall responsibility for maintaining effective discipline within their organisation.
Sussex Police are supportive of these changes and members of the public are welcome to attend. However, it is important in the interests of fairness that the presence of observers does not hinder with the smooth running of the Hearing.
In order to facilitate access by the public the following guidance has been prepared and we would be grateful for your cooperation so that we can manage arrangements in a timely and efficient way. If you have any specific questions that are not addressed within this guidance document please email the Professional Standards Department firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 101 extension 545332 and we will seek to assist.
At the discretion of the Hearing Chair, the Force will publish details of Gross Misconduct Hearings on the Force website at least 5 days in advance of the hearing taking place. For Special Case Hearings, Chaired by the Chief Constable, publication time will be also be 5 days in advance.
- At the discretion of the Chair, details of the case and officer (s) subject of the hearing may also be published.
- At the discretion of the Chair, you may be required to leave part of the hearing, as rules governing the conduct of proceedings allow for all or part of the hearing NOT to be held in public. In the interests of operational security or confidentiality your co-operation would be appreciated if you are required to move to another area or room.
- The Chair reserves the right to put in place any security measures that are considered necessary in order to prevent disruption to proceedings or reduce risks. For example, this may require attendees to submit to a search or surrender video/audio equipment or mobile telephones. Any person who is believed to represent a security risk to the Force may not be permitted access to police premises.
- Places may be limited based on venue size and allocated on a first come first served basis.
However, priority will be given to the attendance of the complainant (where applicable), other interested parties (*as defined in Statutory Guidance) and representatives of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Members of the media will be allocated a proportionate number of seats based on the overall number of spaces available.
- Members of the public attend as observers only and will not be permitted to participate in any part of the proceedings. Any behaviour that does, or is likely to interfere with the proper conduct of proceedings may result in a requirement to leave the hearing.
- Members of the public, including the media, will be required to register in advance of the hearing date through the online facility on the Force website. If you have not registered to attend in advance of the hearing, admittance will be declined.
- Attendees will be required to produce photographic ID on the date of attendance, prior to admission to the hearing. Failure to do so will result in your exclusion from the Hearing.
- The Hearing Chair is permitted to place any reasonable restrictions on the recording and broadcasting of the case where this is justifiable and necessary to ensure the smooth running and fairness of proceedings. Audio and video recording will not be allowed unless expressly permitted by the Hearing Chair. Observers may text or use Facebook and other social media during the Hearing unless specific restrictions have been put in place by the Chair.
- Travel and attendance will be in your own time and at your own expense and public parking facilities may not be available. Wherever possible, venues will be selected to allow access for those with a disability but this cannot be guaranteed.
- Refreshments will not be provided by Sussex Police and food and drink will not be allowed in the Hearing room. However, where possible we will try and facilitate access to refreshment areas where these are available.
- With the exception of Guide or assistance dogs, pets or children (persons under the age of 16) will not be permitted to attend. Wherever possible, Sussex Police will ensure that appropriate provision is made for those with a disability or hearing impairment.
At the conclusion of a Hearing, the result will be published on the force website for a minimum period of 28 days.
Details of upcoming hearings and the application form to attend can be found here.