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As the voice of the public in policing, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has backed concerns raised by West Mercia Police Federation.  

Amendments made to misconduct hearings now see police chiefs, or their delegate, chairing standard misconduct hearings, rather than Legally Qualified Chairs (LQCs).

In a statement from Friday 16 May, 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.”

The PCC said: “I share the Federation’s concerns. Confidence in the police disciplinary system is vital for the public and rank-and-file officers.

“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.”

Lesley Williams, conduct lead for West Mercia Police Federation said: “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 forwards the federation will be looking to the PCC to ensure that Chiefs are held to account accordingly.”