The City of London Police Federation has expressed serious concerns about the “witch hunt” culture it perceives in the police oversight and legal systems.
Mike Reed, the Federation Chair, voiced his criticism in a post on social media last Monday (18th) about what he sees as a lack of fairness in how police officers are treated when under investigation.
Officers More Likely to be Charged Than Public
According to Mike Reed, police officers under investigation are disproportionately more likely to be charged and processed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) than members of the public.
“Those that have been, or are involved in the police disciplinary process, know that the CPS are more likely to charge and process police officers under investigation than members of the public,” Reed stated.
Stressful Decisions Under Microscope
Reed also critiqued the scrutiny that police officers face in the line of duty.
He said, “What amazes me is the micro-examination in slow time from the comfort of office desks of those that are on the street making split-second decisions in stressful situations.”
Reed emphasised that these officers often risk their physical well-being to protect the public.
Shortcomings in Oversight
The Federation Chair expressed his disillusionment with the current “checks and balances” that should filter out complaints.
He warned that once a file reaches the CPS, the legal advice often leans towards preparing the officers for court appearances, even when there is little evidential merit.
Reed said, “For a case to get to court, the test should always be the same as it would be for any member of the public… a fair assessment of the evidence that would secure a likely conviction and in the public interest. That is clearly not the case.”
The Consequence: Suspended Officers
Due to these issues, Reed pointed out that police officers are often left suspended, awaiting court dates for jobs with little or no evidential support.
“If people want confidence in policing, they need to allow officers to do their job with their best interests at heart, without fear or favour of succumbing to a system that ties their hands behind their backs,” Reed added.
Echoing the Met Commissioner
Mike Reed’s statements came in the wake of comments by Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who told the Superintendents’ Association Conference that overzealous oversight could discourage officers from doing their jobs effectively.
The call for fair treatment and realistic oversight is clear as police officers navigate the complexities and risks of their roles.
The ONLY way to ensure you never miss our stories or videos is by signing up for our FREE newsletter! All we need is an email address, it takes less than 30 seconds, and anyone can subscribe!
Join our WhatsApp community!
ESN is now on WhatsApp, and we want you to join our communities.
To join, you need to have WhatsApp on your device. All you need to do is click the link and press 'Join community'.
No one will be able to see who is signed up, and no one can send messages except the ESN team.
Joining our WhatsApp channel is a great way to help support our work and best of all, it is free!
If you don't like our community, you can check out any time you like. To leave our community, click on the name at the top of your screen and choose 'exit group'.