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Misconduct Hearings and Police Appeals Tribunals

Police Misconduct Hearings

Disciplinary matters involving police officers and special constables are governed by Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020.

A Misconduct Hearing takes place when an investigation is carried out into any officer following an allegation of behaviour that falls below the standard expected of Surrey Police. 

A Gross Misconduct hearing takes place when the allegation relates to misconduct that is so serious it could result in dismissal of the police officer.

From 1 May 2015, any cases of police officer misconduct may result in hearings that can be attended by the public, including the media.

Related information:

Legally Qualified Chairs (LQC)

The regulations state that police gross misconduct hearings must be held in public and be presided over by a Legally Qualified Chair (LQC).

The LQC will make a decision on whether hearings will be held in public, in private or part public/private and wherever possible should state why.

Surrey Police are responsible for organising the hearings, with most held at Surrey Police Headquarters.

Our office is responsible for the appointment and training of the LQC and an Independent Panel Member. 

Surrey currently has a list of 22 LQCs available to sit on gross misconduct hearings. These appointments have been made on a regional basis, over two tranches, in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioners from Kent, Hampshire, Sussex and Thames Valley.

The LQCs for all gross misconduct hearings in Surrey are selected from this list by our office, using a rota system to ensure fairness.

Read how we select, recruit and manage Legally Qualified Chairs or view our Legally Qualified Chairs Handbook here.

Police Appeals Tribunals

Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs) hear appeals against the findings of gross misconduct brought by police officers or special constables. PATs are currently governed by the Police Appeals Tribunal Rules 2020.

Members of the public can attend Appeal hearings as observers but are not allowed to participate in proceedings. The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Surrey is responsible for appointing the chair to conduct the proceedings.

Appeals Tribunals will be held at Surrey Police HQ or other location as determined by the Police and Crime Commissioner with information about how and when they are held made public here.

Related information:

Upcoming Hearings and Tribunals

Details of upcoming hearings will be published with at least five days’ notice on the Surrey Police website and linked below.

Helping to build public confidence in policing

LQCs and Independent Panel Members, who are also appointed by Commissioners, act as an independent body of the police and help to improve public confidence in the police complaints and disciplinary system. They help to ensure all police officers follow the Standards of Professional Behaviour and the Code of Ethics.

To undertake this important role, it is essential that they have the most up to date and relevant training.

In June 2023, the South East Region’s Police & Crime Commissioner Offices – comprising Surrey, Hampshire, Kent, Sussex and Thames Valley – hosted a series of training days for their LQCs and IPMs.

The first training session focused on giving LQCs and Independent Panel Members a perspective from a leading barrister and took attendees through the legal framework and basics of case management; whilst also addressing topics such as Abuse of Process, Hearsay Evidence and Equality Act issues.

A virtual session was also hosted and covered updates from the Home Office, the College of Policing, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners, and the National Police Chiefs Council.

Booking to attend

Places are limited and will need to be booked in advance, preferably at least 48 hours before the hearing.

To comply with the rules of attendance, observers are required to provide the following when booking:

  • name
  • email address
  • contact telephone number

To book a place at a forthcoming hearing please get in touch using our Contact Us page.

Full details of the Conditions of entry to Police Appeal Tribunals can be read here.

We’re seeking Independent Members to sit on Police Gross Misconduct Panels.

They play a key role in maintaining confidence in policing by holding officers accountable to the high standards we expect.

Visit out Vacancies page to learn more and apply.

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