“At one time only members of relatively few professions or occupations were subject to having to uphold personal and professional high standards and be answerable to their institutional peers for any failings real or suspected. Law and medicine were the two ancient professions which for generations were alone in policing themselves. In the post war era there has been increasing government influence in the standards and operation of these professions` controlling bodies. Many more professions have been brought under similar umbrellas to increase the public`s confidence in the protection offered. Optometry, osteopathy and teaching are just three of the “newer” professions subject to control by regulatory councils. This oversight in addition to the aforementioned applies to professionals employed or self employed even although those in the former category are also subject to any controls agreed with their employers according to their contracts of employment. Police officers are exempt from this individual professional regulation.
The disturbing case reported in yesterday`s Telegraph and the even more disturbing results of an inquiry into the officers` conduct should encourage the government to set up a Policing Council. Considering the coalition is almost at war with the police another controversial action might be politically opportune and popular with many of its wavering supporters. As a matter of interest the South Wales Constabulary in 2010 dismissed 6 officers and had 8 officers who resigned prior to a hearing or during investigation. None was shown to have retired on medical grounds. The complement of this force is currently 3,012 police officers.”