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Police officers guilty of gross misconduct in England and Wales will face automatic sackings, the government has announced.

Under the new system, Chief Constables or their Deputies will chair misconduct panels hearing serious allegations against officers.

There will also be changes to the Police Regulations, which govern officers’ behaviour, to allow police officers who fail re-vetting checks to be dismissed.

This announcement has been “cautiously welcomed” by Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

“I welcome Chief Constables having a greater say in misconduct cases, but it’s also important to remember that independent lawyers were brought in as Chiefs were not always making decisions the public would see as just.

“That’s why I fully support the Government’s plans to consult with Police and Crime Commissioners on extending rights of challenge to ensure those making dismissals are held to account on the decisions they make.”

“As Commissioner, I will continue to play my part by supporting and challenging the Chief Constable to ensure misconduct panels follow a fair and transparent disciplinary process so individual bias does not govern or influence decisions.

“While there are a minority of police officers who are unfit to serve, I want to reassure the public that the vast majority of police officers are hardworking people making a real difference in West Mercia.”