We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Vetting accreditation to be introduced in bid to improve consistency

An updated Vetting Code of Practice is currently out for consultation with Chief Constables.

Accreditation for force vetting teams is set to be introduced as part of a wider push towards ensuring consistency between force vetting procedures. 

It will run similarly to the current process of licencing firearms training - and the College will have the power to prevent forces from carrying out vetting if they don't meet a certain standard. 

The College has emphasised however that the first port of call would be to offer "intense support and guidance"  to prevent them resorting to using that power.

No timeframe has currently been set for this - work is beginning on it now. 

Meanwhile, an updated vetting code of practice could further see a number of points of existing guidance turned into requirements for forces. 

The revised Code, currently out for consultation, will mandate vetting checks being re-done following a material change in an individual’s circumstances – regardless of the time since the last check.

Meanwhile, adverse information or changes in circumstances that may impact on a vetting clearance will need to be risk assessed.

The Code will further set out that anyone unable to hold vetting clearance should be dismissed.

All the above additions to the Code have already been established in existing guidance. However, what has been made clear both through recent criminal cases as well as the Baroness Casey Review is that inconsistency remains.

For example, last year’s Casey review found many examples within the Met of behaviours going unchecked for long periods of time – including instances where officers had lied on their vetting or been involved in misconduct issues.

The review said that often the examples were “well known locally by officers and staff”.

A new team is due to be established at the College in order to provide national support, training and guidance for forces as they implement the new Code.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh has said that the crimes committed by officers and staff that have been exposed over the past few months are “compounded by the fact some of them flew under the radar because opportunities to detect them were missed.”

He added: “Vetting will only ever be one part of the jigsaw and we must redouble our efforts to improve police culture. There are thousands of hardworking, dedicated officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. However, sitting alongside them are officers who turn a blind eye, or join in, with a locker room attitude of complicity. Our new leadership training, a refreshed Code of Ethics and our work with forces to improve the response to violence against women and girls will provide further help.”

Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “Police officers must be subject to the highest vetting standards so that those who are not fit to wear the uniform are not able to join the force or remain in it.

“The police must root out all unacceptable behaviour from its ranks and earlier this week I chaired a roundtable with policing leaders to receive an update on the data washing exercise of all police officers and the progress forces are making in implementing the recommendations on vetting set by the policing inspectorate.”

Existing Authorised Professional Practice already sets out the requirement for ‘integrity checks’ whereby line managers are expected to ensure previous information given during vetting remains accurate. The College has said that while the checks should be done at regular intervals - the Code does not stipulate a specific time period as officers have a duty to update as and when. 

Leave a Comment
View Comments 1
In Other News
Met to launch ‘re-vetting’ process after national recommendations
'About 10%' of vetting files examined by HMIC shouldn't have passed
Second phase of Couzens inquiry to be completed within 24 months
Met reviewing more than 1,000 allegations after series of scandals
More News