College of Policing survey shows that most people would not want to be in the position of police officers.
While Alex Marshall (pictured) said that he understood that many people would not want to have to be put in stressful positions as those at the sharp end of law enforcement he admitted being taken aback at how many were concerned by the ethical dilemmas.
He added: “I am not really surprised that people said they would not want to be in the position of an officer – but what really surprised me were how high the numbers were.
“This is something that does not come across in the hurly burly of the news media – 40 per cent felt the decisions the police have to make were harder than they thought.”
Chief Constable Marshall was speaking as the College prepared to lay the new Code of Ethics before Parliament as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.
In a survey to coincide with the launch of the document, which will apply to all those working in policing, the professional body asked more than 2,000 members of the public about how they would deal with daily ethical dilemmas faced by personnel.
Just under 70 per cent said they would not want to be in the shoes of an officer or staff member when dealing with the situations – and four-out-of-10 believed that the challenges faced by the police were more difficult than they had thought.
The study also highlighted that most respondents did not always find what to do easy.
CC Marshall said the College remained committed to explaining the pressures officers found themselves under to the public – promoting greater awareness of the role.
The Code of Ethics will apply to more than 220,000 officers, police staff, contractors and volunteers in policing. It sets out the standards of behaviour expected and was drawn up after the professional body was granted powers in legislation to set codes. Chief constables must legally have regard to these documents.
CC Marshall told PoliceOracle.com that he was confident that personnel at all levels of the law enforcement family were now behind the latest code – which sets out 10 standards of professional behaviour in areas including accountability and fairness.
He said: “All chief constables have now committed themselves to it and the Police Federation has voiced its support – we have backing from those at the top and the frontline workforce.
“This is the first time we have had a code of ethics and forces have been implementing it in their own way. It brings policing into line with other trusted professionals such as those in medicine and law.”
College of Policing board Chair Dame Shirley Pearce echoed the chief executive’s comments. She added “The Code makes explicit the ethical principles that should guide the difficult decisions that everyone in policing has to make every day of the week.”
From Police Oracle