Private Life

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Conference
2012 Police & Justice Conference
Date
13 June 2012
Decision
Carried

As private citizens, our Police Staff members have a right to privacy that right is fast being eroded by intrusive policies within the Police Service. Police Staff employees deserve the right to a private life and no legislation exists as it does for Police Officers which places restrictions on their private life. It is accepted that certain Police Staff posts only, may require more than average restrictions placed upon them, however such restrictions are wholly inappropriate to other posts in most circumstances.

It is known that the Police service as an employer in conducting investigations has on occasions used police powers inappropriately to investigate matters of alleged Police Staff misconduct which may or may not amount to abuse of process.

Our members acknowledge that by working for the Police Service the employers/publics expectations are heightened with regard to conduct, because of the need to maintain public confidence. Police officers on the other hand hold a unique and responsible position within our society and as such, they are rewarded and legislated for appropriately. Therefore Police Staff should not be treated in the same way as Police Officers.

The Police service, when conducting investigations that relate to the employment relationship should not utilise the power of the police in doing so.

Our right as employees to privacy is a fundamental human right and we as a Trade Union should seek to protect the rights of our members.

Conference therefore calls upon the Service Group Executive to:

1)Liaise with other Police Staff Trade Unions to scope out the extent of any instances where police powers have been used inappropriately to investigate employment matters;

2) Make contact will all UNISON Police Branches within the UK to collate information and areas of concern from cases/policies that impinge on the right to privacy;

3)Make contact with the Home Office with a view to highlighting these issues and seeking clarification;

4) Seek to negotiate through the PSC, a standard that best protects our members in these circumstances;

5)Produce comprehensive guidance for branches;

6)Liaise with the IPCC for their views and considerations regarding this matter.