Skip to content Quick exit

Code of Ethics

You have a right to expect the highest standards of behaviour from our police officers and staff.

Everyone working for Hertfordshire Constabulary - in whatever capacity - signs up to and follows the National Code of Policing Ethics.

Code of Ethics

Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Dunn (4)Principles and Standards of Professional Behaviour for the Policing Profession of England and Wales.

The public have a right to expect the highest standards of behaviour from everyone in public life, partcularly from those engaged in policing, who are, afer all, public servants. The Natonal Code of Ethics describes, through the nine Policing Principles it contains, what the public should expect from all of us as we deliver our day to day business. But it is not just a document by which the public can hold us to account, it is also something that we can all draw upon to empower us to act when we see others failing to meet the standards it artculates, and give you the confidence to challenge those who do not meet the required behaviour it demands.

This booklet sets out the Policing Principles and describes what they mean in the workplace. It is hoped this booklet will help to provide a practcal explanaton of the Principles and how we can all embed them into our everyday working practces. It applies to us all be you permanent or temporary staff or actng in a paid or voluntary role.

DCC Michelle Dunn


The Code of Ethics highlights the responsibility of all of us in policing to behave in a manner that is most likely to win the trust and support of fellow citzens’. In the modern context the code remains true to Peel s founding principles of Britsh policing focussed on the importance of public support and the need for the police to ‘secure and maintain public respect .

The code describes the behaviours and traits we value in ourselves and others and reflect the expectatons of the public we serve. The trust and confidence of the wider public is crucial to the need to police with the broad consent of our community, if they are to see police actons as legitmate. This legitmacy is earned through our service to the public on whose cooperaton we depend to effectvely keep our communites safe.

It is important that any victm of crime feels they have been treated with fairness and respect and feels confident to ask, why did you do that? We must be open to constructve challenge as to why something was done and what formed the basis of our decisions. If people feel they have been fairly treated, they are much more likely to both trust and support police acton.

Accountability for our actons begins at the first encounter, how we treat others, both internally or externally, is important as it will leave an impression directly affectng our ability tomaintain that trust and support. During any encounter we have a number of optons,moments of choice, that will shape the view a person has of us as an individual and in turn the Constabulary and impact how that person interacts with the service in future. We should contnually ask ourselves what impression did I leave today, am I proud of it and is what I did in line with the values of the organisaton? . This summary is designed to help you to understand the code and policing principles, enabling you to contnue to deliver the highest professional standards of service to the public of Hertordshire.

Policing principles

  • Accountability
  • Fairness
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Objectvity
  • Openness
  • Respect
  • Selflessness

Standards of professional behaviour

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Authority, respect and courtesy
  • Equality and diversity
  • Use of force
  • Orders and instructons
  • Duties and responsibilites
  • Confidentality
  • Fitness for work
  • Conduct
  • Challenging and reportng improper conduct


You are answerable for your decisions, actons and omissions.

You are accountable for standards of behaviour and ensuring that all our behaviour is lawful, appropriate and totally professional.

Low standards, both professional and personal damage the team and can cause operatonal failure.


You treat people fairly.

You are unbiased, act in accordance with the rules and with an even handed approach to situatons faced.


You are truthful and trustworthy. In its simplest form it means being honest, with yourself, your team and the organisaton. You are honest and therefore worthy of the trust of others.


You always do the right thing. The consistent ability to balance competng principles, deliver a service which builds trust and support from those who are affected by any decision and those who are not.


You lead by good example. Role modelling a set of values you have set for yourself and those of the organisaton. Doing the right thing in the right way even if that sets you apart.


You make choices on evidence and yourbestprofessionaljudgement. Possessing an understanding of the cultural and social needs of the individual and community coupled with a calmand tolerant approach to any situaton.


You are open and transparent in your actons and decisions. Restrict informaton only when the wider public interest clearly demands.


You treat everyone with respect. Consistently demonstrate the ability to consider and appreciate the needs of others while actng politely and professionally.


You act in the public interest. Policing requires teamwork, none of us work in isolaton, but as a team. The team can only be effectve if we each play our part in full. Putng the team and mission before our own interests and trust that others will do the same.

Download the Code of Ethics booklet


You can download a PDF version of the booklet below:

Our website uses cookies to improve your experience.