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Can the complainant be at my misconduct meeting
The short answer is yes they can, up until the point that sanction is decided, a more full description of the regulations follows. The complainant means the person referred to in the 2002 Act. These are;
  • (a) a member of the public who claims to be the person in relation to whom the conduct took place;
  • (b) a member of the public not falling within paragraph (a) who claims to have been adversely affected by the conduct;
  • (c) a member of the public who claims to have witnessed the conduct; (complaints, matters and persons to which Part 2 applies).
An interested party means a witness or any person involved in the conduct which is subject of the case or who otherwise has a direct interest in the case.

Regulation 31 of the 2008 Misconduct regulations deals with the attendance of complainant or interested person at misconduct proceedings.
(1) This regulation shall apply in the case of misconduct proceedings arising from a
(a) conduct matter to which paragraph 16, 17, 18 or 19 of Schedule 3 to the 2002 Act (investigations) applied;
  • Investigations by the appropriate authority on its own behalf
  • Investigations supervised by the Commission
  • Investigations managed by the Commission
  • Investigations by the Commission itself
OR
(b) complaint which was certified as subject to special requirements under paragraph 19A(1)(a) of that Schedule (assessment of seriousness of conduct).

(2) The appropriate authority shall notify in advance the complainant or any interested person of the date, time and place of the misconduct proceedings.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this regulation, regulation 33 and any conditions imposed under regulation 32(7), the complainant or any interested person may attend the misconduct proceedings as an observer up to but not including the point at which the person conducting or chairing those proceedings considers the question of disciplinary action. During 2012 the IPCC have made recommendations that this should change and that persons should remain for the whole proceedings, including mitigation unless the officer subject of the proceedings objects. I see few occasions when such an objection would not be forthcoming

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), regulation 33 and any conditions imposed under regulation 32(7), a complainant or interested person may be accompanied by one other person, and if the complainant or interested person has a special need, by one further person to accommodate that need.

(5) Where a complainant or interested person or any person accompanying him is to give evidence as a witness at the misconduct proceedings, none of those persons shall be allowed to attend the proceedings before that evidence is given.

(6) The person conducting or chairing the misconduct proceedings may, at his discretion, put any questions to the officer concerned that the complainant or interested person may request be put to him.
Regulation 32 Attendance of others at misconduct proceedings
(7) The person conducting or chairing the misconduct proceedings may impose such conditions as he sees fit relating to the attendance under regulation 31 or this regulation of persons at the misconduct proceedings (including circumstances in which they may be excluded) in order to facilitate the proper conduct of the proceedings.

Regulation 33 - Exclusion from misconduct proceedings
Where it appears to the person conducting or chairing the misconduct proceedings that any person may, in giving evidence, disclose information which, under the harm test, ought not to be disclosed to any person attending the proceedings, he shall require such attendees to withdraw while the evidence is given.
Home Office Guidance - Attendance of complainant or interested person at misconduct proceedings
2.221 Where a misconduct meeting/hearing is being held as a direct result of a public complaint, the complainant or interested person will have the right to attend the meeting/hearing as an observer up until the point at which disciplinary action is considered (in addition to attending as a witness if required to do so). He or she may be accompanied by one other person plus (in the case of a particular need e.g. an interpreter, sign language expert etc.) a second person. The appropriate authority will therefore be responsible for notifying the complainant or interested person of the date, time and place of the misconduct meeting/hearing.

2.222 The misconduct meeting/hearing shall not be delayed solely in order to facilitate a complainant or interested person attending the meeting/hearing, although consideration will need to be given to whether the complainant or interested person is also a witness in the matter.

2.223 The complainant or interested person may at the discretion of the person conducting or chairing the meeting/hearing put questions through the person conducting or chairing the meeting or hearing. [Note: Complainants will not be permitted to put questions to the police officer in a special case hearing, also known as fast track procedures.[Annex A Home Office Guidance]

2. 224 Where the complainant is required to attend a meeting/hearing to give evidence, he or she will not be permitted to be present in the meeting/hearing before giving his or her evidence. Any person accompanying the complainant and/or the person assisting the complainant due to a special need will not be permitted to be present in the meeting/hearing before the complainant has given evidence (if applicable).

2.225 A complainant and any person accompanying the complainant will be permitted to remain in the meeting/hearing up to and including any finding by the person(s) conducting the meeting/hearing, after having given evidence (if appropriate). The complainant and any person accompanying the complainant will not be permitted to remain in the meeting/hearing whilst character references or mitigation are being given or the decision of the panel as to the outcome. However, the appropriate authority will have a duty to inform the complainant of the outcome of any misconduct meeting/hearing whether the complainant attends or not.

2.226 The person(s) conducting a misconduct meeting/hearing will have the discretion to allow a witness who has attended and given evidence at the meeting/hearing to remain or to ask him or her to leave the proceedings after giving his or her evidence (subject to the right of complainants to be present. See paragraph 2.221).
Category: MISCONDUCT, Last Updated: 08-07-2012 [90]