Calls have been made for police officers to face public disciplinary hearings in line with doctors, nurses and teachers, after it emerged 48 officers in Wales have faced secret misconduct hearings in the past three years.
The hearings, revealed following Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to Wales’ four police forces, were all held behind closed doors with the identity of the officers and details of the allegations kept under wraps.
Supporters of the current system say the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) can intervene in serious cases and order hearings to be held in public. However, the figures show serious allegations of assault, careless driving, drinking on duty and breach of confidentiality were among those heard behind closed doors.
One officer was suspended on full pay for a month while a hearing panel considered an allegation of serious assault, for which the officer was eventually dismissed without notice.
Another was dismissed after a panel found him responsible of “gross misconduct”, of which no further details were given.
One force supplied details of allegations and outcomes of the hearings, but declined to say which outcomes related to which hearings, meaning it is impossible to find out how officers facing allegations including excess alcohol, careless driving and gross misconduct were disciplined, if at all.