Standards of professional behaviour for police staff

Dated: 19 Nov 2014

POLICY TITLE: Standards of Professional Behaviour for Police Staff


AUTHOR: HR Central Team




AIM OF POLICY: To outline standards of professional behaviour for police staff which have been nationally agreed by the Police Staff Council.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: This policy outlines the standards expected of Northumbria Police staff and will enable Northumbria Police to provide a high level of customer service ensuring trust and confidence in the Force. The policy is underpinned by the Code of Ethics which supports each individual member of the policing profession in delivering the highest professional standards of service to the public.

REASON FOR POLICY: This is necessary to provide a clarity of understanding of the standards expected of Northumbria Police staff.


Following a national agreement with the Police Staff Council, Northumbria Police agreed to adopt the Standards of Professional Behaviour for police staff.

Public confidence in Northumbria Police is affected by the behaviour of its police staff. The standards set out below reflect the expectations that Northumbria Police and the public have of how police staff should behave to ensure staff demonstrate the highest standards of professional behaviour at all times.

The public has the right to expect the police service to protect them by upholding the law and providing a professional police service. Police staff have the right to a working environment free of harassment, inequality or discrimination from others within the service and members of the public. Northumbria Police will proactively support such a working environment and where appropriate will actively engage with members of police staff to help them attain acceptable levels of behaviour.

The standards are not intended to describe every situation but rather to set a framework which everyone can easily understand. They do not restrict the discretion of police staff; rather, they define the parameters of conduct within which that discretion should be exercised. A breach of these standards may damage confidence in the police service and could lead to disciplinary action, which in serious cases may result in dismissal.

The standards of professional behaviour will continue to apply to police staff during any period of absence from the Force e.g. suspension, maternity leave, career break, sickness absence, voluntary reserve force deployment.

The Standards of Professional Behaviour are summarised as follows:

Honesty and Integrity

  • Police staff are honest, act with integrity and do not compromise or abuse their position.

Authority, Respect and Courtesy

  • Police staff act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy.
  • Police staff do not abuse their powers or authority and respect the rights of all individuals.

Equality and Diversity

  • Police staff act with fairness and impartiality. They do not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly.

Use of Restraint

  • Police staff only use restraint as part of their roles and responsibilities to the extent that it is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances.


  • Police staff only give and carry out reasonable instructions.
  • Police staff follow all reasonable instructions and abide by Force policies and procedures.

Work and Responsibilities

  • Police staff are diligent in the exercise of their work and responsibilities.


  • Police staff treat information with respect and access or disclose it only in the proper course of their work.

Fitness for Work

  • Police staff when at work are fit to carry out their duties.

Discreditable Conduct

  • Police staff behave in a manner which does not discredit the police service or undermine public confidence in the police service.
  • Police staff report any conviction or caution against them for a criminal offence.

Challenging and Reporting Improper Conduct

  • Police staff whilst at work report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which have fallen below the standards of professional behaviour expected.


SOURCE DOCUMENT: Police Staff Council - Joint Circular No. 54



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