The Seven Principles of Public Life
A little over 25 years ago, the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life published a set of principles, a standard for all those in public life to uphold while serving.
It is these that form the basis of our interventions. When there is a clear lack of any of these qualities, there is a cause for a movement of the Peoples Public Trust, for the Trust placed in public servants, at all levels, to uphold these principles may have been breached, and action warranted.
This can be anything from a recommendation for re-training or reprimand, to legal action. The Peoples’ Public Trust is a non-government controlled means for the People to express and enforce the will and standards of the taxpaying employer upon potentially errant employees of the State, and therefore the People. See below for why it is different for Police Officers.
“Everyone in public office at all levels – Ministers, civil servants, NHS staff, the police, council officers – all who serve the public or deliver public services should uphold the principles of accountability, honesty, integrity, objectivity, selflessness, openness and leadership.” (from gov.uk)
For Police Officers, there is another layer of accountability – the fact that they have taken a compelling Oath of Office in addition to their requirement to uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life
You may not be familiar with it, but here it is:
A Police Constables Oath
“I do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law.”
A Powerful Oath for an Office with Power,
Many police officers simply forget the gravity and content of their oath. It contains the markers of attentiveness and respect that tempers the powers of authority and enforcement that go along with the role.
One of our functions is to remind them, through our trainings and interventions by our Observers, of its content, and meaning.
It can oft be a timely reminder in the heat of the moment for perhaps the more brash, unskillful, immature, exuberant or abusive Police Officer – they are literally oathed to be fair, impartial and to uphold human rights and afford equal respect to ALL people AND to cause the peace to be kept (importantly, including their own conduct.)
They are potentially personally liable whenever that oath is broken, and should certainly be held accountable.
For too long have the People felt powerless in the face of a CPS that has a conflict of interest in taking on cases, and a police complaints process that rarely seems to leave the community feeling like justice has been served. This is where the Peoples Public Trust comes in to enable the People to take direct, legal, lawful action against paid employees or institutions who may be abusing authority, in whatever form it may take.
For we at the Peoples’ Public Trust, there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’, only ‘us, and ‘more us, working in a serving role right now..until, oh, 8pm, then I’m ‘us’ again’