The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to maintaining the highest levels of honesty and integrity, striving to prevent dishonest, unethical and unprofessional behaviour.
Accountability is critical to the maintenance of confidence in policing. The public rightly expect every Police Service of Northern Ireland employee to act with integrity at all times both on and off duty. When an officer or staff member falls short of these standards, it is essential that any allegations of criminality and/or misconduct are thoroughly investigated and (when appropriate) subject to Misconduct Proceedings. The Professional Standards Department has the responsibility for ensuring these processes are undertaken in a fair, transparent and thorough manner.
The Professional Standards Department consists of three branches:
- Discipline Branch
- Anti-Corruption Unit
- Service Vetting Unit
Discipline Branch investigates misconduct matters which are referred internally or otherwise come to our attention. This can involve off duty incidents, and misconduct or criminal acts in the workplace, which has not been subject of a public complaint or involved a member of the public.
Discipline Branch takes forward misconduct proceedings following investigation, whether they are from Police Ombudsman’s Office or internally investigated by Professional Standards Department. These proceedings can take the form of a hearing or local misconduct meeting.
Discipline Branch is also responsible for the approval of business interests for police officers and the review of these.
The Anti-Corruption Unit strives to prevent and detect wrongdoing and corruption by members of the Police Service. We achieve this by responding to information relating to wrongdoing by Police Service of Northern Ireland employees and those members of the public who seek to corrupt those in public office.
Corruption is defined as “The improper exercise of a power or privilege for the purpose of achieving a personal benefit, or a benefit or detriment for another person. Including activities intricately linked to corruption and matters defined as ‘Serious Corruption’.
Service Vetting Unit
Vetting exists to protect the integrity and reputation of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, its assets and data from persons and organisations intent on or capable of disrupting the integrity, security or values of the Police Service. It is the aim of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, via the Service Vetting Unit (SVU), to provide an appropriate level of assurance as to the trustworthiness, integrity and reliability of all police officers, police staff and non-police personnel (NPP) working for or on behalf of the Service.
How To Report
If you have any concerns regarding wrongdoing or corruption by police officers, police staff or by members of the public, who seek to corrupt those in the police service, the following reporting mechanisms are available:
101 non-emergency number
The telephone number for calling the Police Service of Northern Ireland in a non-emergency situation is 101. The non-emergency 101 number is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity, who are not part of the police. When you contact Crimestoppers you won't be identified. The only person who knows you contacted them with information is you.
We understand that it can be difficult to come forward with information. You might have seen or heard something about corruption by a member of the police service, but don't know what to do, or are scared to come forward. It's easy to think there is nothing you can do, but Crimestoppers can offer the confidentiality you may require.
The Police Ombudsman provides an independent, impartial system for the handling of complaints about the conduct of police officers whilst on duty.