NEW rules on how police officers at every level should behave have been introduced in North Yorkshire and Humberside.
The Code of Ethics was worked up by the College of Policing to set out the standards of behaviour the public can expect from all officers and police staff in every role across the country including North Yorkshire and Humberside.
To help members of the public understand the code, a set of 12 ethical dilemmas faced daily by police were presented to more than 2,000 people, and their answers recorded.
More than two-thirds of respondents, 68 per cent, said they would not want to be in the position of a police officer or staff member when making those decisions and 40 per cent said the challenges police face were harder than they previously thought.
Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, said: "The public rightly expect the highest standards of behaviour from the professionals tasked with keeping them safe, often when they are at their most vulnerable. The code will benefit members of the public as it documents the standards of behaviour that they should expect from everyone who they come into contact with at North Yorkshire Police.
"Policing is a difficult but rewarding job. Every day we have to make decisions that affect people’s lives, often under extreme pressure. The code is designed to assist this decision making and will also empower our officers and staff to challenge any unethical behaviour they witness."
The public survey showed there was not always a clear solution to the dilemma, and most respondents did not always find it easy to decide what to do.
The new code ties together policing principles, fairness, honesty, integrity and objectivity, along with standards of professional behaviour and challenging and reporting improper conduct.
College of Policing chief executive Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: “The vast majority of people who work in policing are hardworking, honest people who want to serve their communities. The Code of Ethics clearly defines the expectations of standards and behaviour for everyone in policing and brings policing into line with other trusted professions that have such codes, like those in medicine and law.”
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said the code supported police to do their job well.
She said: “It is therefore an important new tool, which I welcome. I will be taking a good look at how it is implemented, as it needs to be embedded in the culture of North Yorkshire Police”.