Police: Political Impartiality

Home Department written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice Labour, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent guidance has been given to chief constables on the use by political parties of photographs of named police officers in election leaflets.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office

Regulation 6 of the Police Regulations 2003 as amended by the Police (Amendment) Regulations 2004 states that:

"a member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere. A member of a police force shall in particular (a) not take any active part in politics".

No guidance has been issued to police forces on the interpretation of these provisions.

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