Code of Conduct of Law Enforcement Officials While Using Arms

What is code of conduct?

  • Ethical code or set of standards
  • Conduct, behavior or integrity of LEO ( Law enforcement officials)
  • Take into consideration the Rule of Law and principles of human rights and basic freedom
  • A must for professional LEO

Why code of conduct ?

  • To protect and promote human rights
  • Reinforce human rights issues under law
  • Ensure LEO meet legal requirements
  • Maintain public confidence or trust in Law Enforcement
  • Must be managed through formal and informal factors

Three Categories of Conduct

  • Personal Conduct : A set of beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad morals, and duties emanating from the individual.
  • Group Conduct : A set of beliefs about right and wrong, good or bad that emanating from a group of people.
  • Professional Conduct : Standards and rules that govern the conduct of all members of the specific profession.

Who are Law Enforcement Officials ?

All officers, whether appointed or elected, who exercise police powers, especially the powers of arrest or detention.
In countries where police powers are exercised by military authorities, whether uniformed or not, or by State security forces, the definition of law enforcement officials shall be regarded as including officers of such services.

General Principle of Code of Conduct for LEO

1. Rule of Law

  • Law Enforcement
  • Legally
  • Equally For All
  • Knowledge of Law
  • Act according to the law
  • You are not the law

2. Impartiality

  • Law Enforcement :
    • Without favor, affection or ill will
    • Without regard to status, sex, race, religion, political belief or aspiration
  • Treat all with :
    • Courtesy, Consideration and Dignity
  • Never allow :
    • personal feelings, animosities or friendship to influence official conduct.
    • INSPIRE confidence and respect for the position of public trust you hold.

3. Use of Force

  • Necessary ?
  • Proportionate ?
  • Legal ?
  • Accountable ?
  • Use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of duty.

4. Confidentiality

  • People have right to security and privacy
  • Information obtained during investigation that is of a confidential nature should be kept secret unless the performance of duty or law requires otherwise
  • Divulging a secret is a crime.

5. Obedience to Orders

  • All lawful orders must be followed
  • Superiors orders may not be used to justify serious human rights violation
  • Torture cannot be justified on any grounds.

6. Service to the Community

  • For what we are
  • Equally applicable to fellow members, detainees, disables etc.

7. Integrity

  • Complete honesty and good
  • A must for professional police
  • On-duty, Off-duty
  • No Corruption

8. Discretion

  • Reasonableness
  • Common sense
  • Can be more effective means of achieving a desired end.

Outcomes of not following code of conduct

  • Erosion of crucial public confidence and support
  • civil unrest
  • Human dignity is transgressed
  • Hampering of effective prosecutions in court
  • Isolation of police from the community
  • Guilty parties go free – the innocent are punished
  • Victims of crime are left without justice
  • Removal of the “law” from “law enforcement”
  • International and media criticism and political pressure on Government and police.

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