Recently re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has signed off on a new set of Office policies for his second term, including a new policy on visits to victims and their families by members of staff and the Strategic Policing and Crime Board.
It has been recommended that the OPCC should confirm its policy on visits to victims and their families by employees, making it unequivocally clear that, if broken, the member of staff is liable to disciplinary action.
The law is clear that Commissioners and their staff must not interfere in the operational independence of the police. It has therefore been recognised that visits to victims and their families should only be made after making the OPCC and police aware and permission given by the Commissioner or Chief Executive. A published policy on visits to victims and their families strengthens the position and confirms that visits, if not conducted to the agreed policy, are potentially serious disciplinary offences.
The PCC has introduced this to protect employees, victims and their families, and ensure that West Midlands Police activities and investigations are not adversely or unnecessarily affected.