Police praised for integrity

Sussex Police has been praised for the integrity of officers and staff and the way it investigates complaints.

The Integrity Matters report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) highlights the ability of the force to investigate allegations of misconduct or corruption and root out wrongdoing.

The HMIC inspection of the force was carried out in August 2014 and involved a thorough assessment to establish if Sussex Police’s workforce acts with integrity.

Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “We are really pleased by the many positive things that the inspection team found, not least the energetic leadership of the chief constable, the consistently high quality of investigations into public complaints and misconduct issues and the proactive steps taken by the force’s anti-corruption Unit to root out those who fail to meet the high standards expected by both the public and the police service.

“We have worked hard to ensure that all staff understand the importance of delivering policing with as much transparency as possible, always remembering that we are accountable to the public for our actions.

“The Code of Ethics has been welcomed by the force as it reaffirms our commitment to fairness, impartiality and integrity in all that we do and has provided a new impetus for us to go even further in our efforts to deliver our services in a way that enhances the confidence of communities in Sussex.

“The findings will be welcome news for our officers and staff. All too often the reputation of the service as a whole has been slighted by the actions of a small minority and our staff feel this deeply. This is an opportunity for the professionalism of the vast majority to be publicly acknowledged.

“We are delighted to see that our officers and staff have the confidence to report wrongdoing where it is suspected and that the HMIC has recognised how we have responded fairly but robustly in cases where officers have let us and the public down.

“We welcome the insight that the report has provided and recognise the importance of maintaining the confidence of our communities so have already taken steps to respond to HMIC’s recommendations of how we can do even better.

“This involves developing further the speed and efficiency with which we gather information and act on it effectively during investigations into misconduct.

“We are not complacent and despite such a positive inspection report we remain committed to learning from mistakes, be they ours or others in the service. We will continue to ensure that we focus on prevention and learning and will work with HMIC, the IPCC and others.”