Essex: Police and crime commissioner Nick Alston calls for ethics committee to inspect force

Nick Alston, Essex's police and crime commissioner

Nick Alston, Essex's police and crime commissioner - Credit: Contributed

The police and crime commissioner for Essex is to create an ethics committee to look into the force’s integrity.

Nick Alston, who has been in the post for almost a year, said the panel was needed to help set the “very high standards of policing professionalism”.

In a written statement he said: “We have all seen the prominent national press coverage of several high profile cases where, rightly or wrongly, police conduct has been called into question and put under the microscope.

“I have been police and crime commissioner for Essex for almost a year, and throughout this period have seen examples of outstanding conduct by police officers and staff across the county. But I also recognise that it only takes very few cases where police conduct is poor to seriously damage public confidence in policing. That’s why I place great importance on this matter.”

He called for a “fresh approach” to supporting the highest police standards which needed to be “open and transparent to all”.

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He added he had received “excellent cooperation” from the chief constable, who produces a quarterly report which contains details of the action taken over the most serious complaints.

The Ethics and Integrity Committee would strengthen oversight of police misconduct, Mr Alston added.

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The committee would involve independent members and members from the commissioner’s own team.

“By ensuring that I and my team are fully involved in the oversight of police conduct and integrity issues, and by driving forward standards in partnership with the public and Essex Police, I believe that we can avoid some of the problems that have been seen elsewhere in the country and continue to deliver excellent standards of policing across Essex,” he said.

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