Misconduct Hearings and Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs)
A misconduct hearing is held when it has been determined, following an investigation that a police officer has a case to answer in respect of misconduct or gross misconduct.
A misconduct hearing is heard by a panel consisting of a legally qualified chair, a police officer of at least superintendent rank (unless the officer in question is a senior officer in which case the role of second panel member will be an HM Chief Inspector of Constabularies) and an independent member.
Under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for appointing legally qualified chairs and independent members to their positions and for appointing them to individual misconduct hearings.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has a rota system in place for appointing Legally Qualified Chairs and independent members to misconduct hearings where the next available person is appointed from the lists held. This ensures a fair and transparent approach is used.
There is more information about misconduct hearings on West Yorkshire Police’s website, including a list of the forthcoming hearings and the outcomes of previous hearings: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/about-us/our-standards/professional-standards
Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs)
Police officers have a right of appeal to a PAT against findings made under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020 or the Police (Performance) Regulations 2020.
Composition of the PAT:
The make-up of the PAT is set out in Police Appeals Tribunal Rules 2020. Where the officer is not a senior rank, the PAT consists of a legally qualified chair (selected from a list maintained by the Home Office), a serving senior police officer and a lay person (who isn't, and has never been a member of a police force).
Where the officer is a senior rank, the PAT consists of a legally qualified chair (as above), HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary (or an Inspector nominated by the Chief Inspector) and the Permanent Secretary to the Home Office (or a Home Office Director nominated by the Permanent Secretary).
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is the 'local policing body' responsible for administering the Police Appeals Tribunal. This involves liaising with all parties, appointing the tribunal chair and other members and paying their expenses, and working to the timescales set out in legislation.
Details of forthcoming PATs can be found on West Yorkshire Police’s website: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/about-us/our-standards/professional-standards
Attendance at a PAT:
From 1 February 2020, PATs may be held in public and a notice will be published on West Yorkshire Police’s website in advance of the PAT. Members of the public can observe the proceedings but cannot take part. In circumstances when it is not appropriate to hold all or part of the PAT in public, West Yorkshire Police will provide an explanation for this in the notice on their website.
PATs are generally screened live to a room at Wakefield District Police Headquarters in Normanton, Wakefield. If you would like to observe a PAT, please email the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org preferably at least 2 working days before the PAT.
Confirmation of the arrangements will be emailed to you in advance but the following guidance applies:
- There are a limited number of seats and priority will be given to interested parties (those who have been affected by the officer’s conduct or their families)
- There is a limited amount of visitor parking available on site
- You will need to bring your own refreshments
- You will need to bring one form of photo ID
- As you are visiting a police station, you may be subject to a bag/person search upon arrival
- Recording, photography and videoing is not permitted
- The Chair may impose other conditions before or on the day at their discretion
Conclusion of the PAT:
The Chair will decide whether to publish their report showing the outcome of the PAT. If it is published, it will be available on West Yorkshire Police’s website:
Police Appeals Tribunals Rules 2020
Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020
Police (Performance Regulations 2020
Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2020