New legislation creates a Police Barred List for officers dismissed for gross-misconduct

For the first time, officers dismissed for gross-misconduct will have this information placed on a publically searchable database, as new rules under the Police and Crime Act 2017 come into force.

The new legislation puts all officers, staff and specials dismissed for conduct or performance matters on a Police Barred List, preventing further employment elsewhere in policing.

The new rules will see details of officers and specials dismissed for gross-misconduct placed on a publicly searchable database hosted on the College’s website.

This publicly searchable database has been developed with advice from the Information Commissioner's Office to ensure the new legal requirement balances the College’s commitment to openness and transparency with an individual’s right to privacy.

Detective Superintendent Jackie Alexander from the College of Policing said:

“The vast majority of officers and police staff come into the service to protect the public and they act with integrity and respect. It is encouraging to see that trust and confidence in policing has been steadily rising to its highest rating in recent years, but those who do fall short of the standards expected of them will now not find a way back into the police once dismissed.”

“The new lists introduced today are intended to ensure the public are served only by those suitable to hold policing posts.  It will prevent those dismissed from policing from re-entering the service.”

A separate Police Advisory List has also been created under the Act containing the names of officers, staff or specials who resign or retire from the service while under investigation, as well as designated volunteers whose status is withdrawn.

As no finding has been made against an individual, the Police Advisory List is not publically searchable.

Forces and policing bodies must use the barred list to prevent someone previously dismissed from re-entering the service, and must consider any inclusion on the advisory list during vetting.

Contact Information

College Press Office

College of Policing

020 3837 0435

Notes to editors

  • The College of Policing is the professional body for the police in England and Wales. Find out more here.
  • Policing bodies who must use the lists as part of pre-employment checks are Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Service, offices of Police and Crime Commissioners and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
  • The Police Barred List will begin to be populated with dismissals as they take place on and after the 15 December 2017. Police forces have five days to inform the College of dismissals, and the list will be updated by the end of the following month.
  • Names placed on the publicly searchable database will remain there for a period of five years from the date of publication.
  • From the end of January names from the Police Barred List placed on the publically searchable database can be found on our website here.
  • Where an individual who resigned or retired under investigation and was placed on the Police Advisory List, is found that they would have been dismissed if still serving, they will be removed from the advisory and placed on the barred list, including the publicly searchable database if it is a matter of gross misconduct by a police officer or special.
  • Individuals on the lists can apply for a review to be taken off it after three years if dismissed for performance matters, and after five years if dismissed for conduct or placed on the Advisory List in all cases. The College will consider these applications if individuals can evidence that they are once again suitable to be employed within policing.
  • The barred and advisory lists replace the Disapproved Register, previously used to capture the names of dismissed officers to prevent them from re-entering the police service. The register did not have legislation behind it to require names to be paced on it, nor to be published. Names currently on the Disapproved Register will be retained on the Police National Database as the legislation is not retrospective so the names cannot be transferred.
  • Final statistics on the Disapproved Register data will also be made available in due course.
  • For interviews or further information call the College of Policing press office.