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We have responded to the national report published today by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services following an inspection of vetting, misconduct and misogyny in the police service.
Surrey Police remains determined to root out any individual not fit to serve the county and its communities.
We have made a commitment that Surrey will be a county that is not only safe, but feels safe and having the trust and confidence of the public is critical. That’s why we remain focused on identifying and removing any officer or member of staff who compromises our standards or integrity.
Launched in 2020, our Force Commitments set out the “high standards and ethical behaviour” we expect of all of our staff and that “we will respect and reflect the differences in the communities we serve”.
We therefore welcome the publication of the HMICFRS report into vetting, corruption, and misconduct published today. Many of the recommendations focus on areas where we have already carried out significant work and rigorous procedures are already in place within our Professional Standards Department to deal with misconduct swiftly and robustly.
While it is widely acknowledged that misogyny is endemic in society, our position remains clear that behaviours of this kind have no place in our force.
We were one of the first forces to openly discuss misogyny and sexism within the workplace with the launch of our internal campaign, Not In My Force, in 2020 which has since been picked up and replicated by other forces nationally. This was followed up by a “Let’s Talk About Gender” Toolkit encouraging discussions within teams across the force. Earlier this year we also introduced a Sexual Harassment Toolkit, which provides guidance to officers and staff on how to challenge and report such behaviour.
Today’s report highlights the potential risks associated with the national police officer uplift programme and the maintenance of standards due to the “size and speed of the programme”. In Surrey, as we have increased officer numbers, we have continued to maintain robust vetting procedures for all new joiners and transferees in accordance with the College of Policing Vetting Code of Practice and the associated Authorised Professional Practice (APP).
We recognise however, that there is still work to be done in support of the commitments we have made and we will carefully consider the recommendations within HMICFRS’s report making any changes that are required.