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Police Reform Act 2002

Section 37: Protected disclosures by police officers

186.This section, along with the consequential repeals in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 in Schedule 8, affords protection to police officers who make protected disclosures. A ‘protected disclosure’ includes disclosures that a criminal offence has been committed, that a person has failed to comply with a legal obligation to which he or she is subject, or that there has been a miscarriage of justice. In the context of police conduct, protected disclosures would include disclosures that an officer had breached the Code of Conduct for police officers, which is the minimum standard of behaviour for police officers set out in secondary legislation. Thus, the purpose of these changes is to ensure that police officers will be able to report wrongdoing by other officers with the assurance of full protection if they are subsequently discriminated against or suffer detriment for doing so. In such circumstances, they will be able to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

187.Police officers, seconded police officers, cadets, special constables, officers in constabularies maintained otherwise than by a police authority, and police members of the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Crime Squad who report wrongdoing will have the same rights as other employees. And police officers will cease to be excluded from the provisions about protected disclosures in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

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