POLICE chiefs taking charge of misconduct hearings instead of legally qualified professionals has left West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion feeling ‘uneasy’.

Mr Campion, who won a third term this month, has backed concerns raised by West Mercia Police Federation over amendments made to misconduct hearings.

Now, police chiefs, or their delegate, will be chairing standard misconduct hearings, rather than Legally Qualified Chairs (LQCs).


In a statement from Friday, May 16, the Federation’s conduct lead Lesley Williams said the amendments ‘damage the transparency, openness and fairness of the process which was why LQCs were previously introduced’.

Mr Campion added that he agreed with the statement set out by the Federation and admitted he will be doing everything he can to seek assurances that the process will remain open and transparent.

He said: “I share the Federation’s concerns.

“Confidence in the police disciplinary system is vital for the public and rank-and-file officers.

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“It’s clear that when a police officer is suspected of falling below the high standards rightly expected of them, robust and fair procedures should be in place to get to the facts of the matter.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am committed to ensuring confidence in policing is not undermined in West Mercia.

“I will be raising my concerns with the Chief Constable as I want to be reassured the direct control over these matters, police chiefs have sought, will improve the public’s and serving police officers’ confidence in the system."

Ms Williams added: "We are pleased to see the PCC supports the West Mercia Federation position on the changes to the conduct regulations and that this is a detrimental step. 

"Moving forward, the federation will be looking to the PCC to ensure that Chiefs are held to account accordingly."