The Police Regulations 2003 and the Police Code of Conduct impose restrictions on the private lives of Police Officers in order to preserve the integrity and professional image of the police service and public trust and confidence in it.
Under Regulation 8 a business interest is defined as:
- an officer holding any other office or employment (i.e. outside of the officer’s police role) for hire or gain, or the carrying on of any business;
- an officer or his / her partner or other family member residing at the Police Officer’s address holding, or having a financial interest in a licence or permit granted under the laws relating to liquor licensing, refreshment houses, betting and gaming or regulating places of entertainment in the relevant force area;
- an officer’s partner or other family member residing at his / her address owning or managing any shop or similar business at premises in the relevant force area.
Officers wishing to carry out a business interest must declare this to the Chief Constable and obtain permission to continue / start participating in such an activity.
A request will not normally be approved if the business interest:
- is likely to adversely impact on police work and / or the integrity, or public perception of the integrity, of the police force;
- reduces the officer’s effectiveness in their job;
- relies on the officer trading on police reputation or in some way bringing the fact of their position as a police officer to notice;
- involves a time commitment which, taken with police duties, would mean compromising the principles of the Working Time Regulations 1998 or conflict with restrictions on drivers’ hours;
- could lead to the officer being improperly beholden to any person or institution or to being bound by conflicting contractual commitments;
- involves hazards that could provide a risk of injury or ill health.
Hampshire Constabulary publishes this useful list of examples of business interests likely to be approved, and unlikely:
Likely to be approved:
- genuine community work, for example training children in cycling proficiency;
- training or other activity, such as work experience, in the last 2 years before retirement, in order to prepare for future employment;
- producing small, low value, art and craft items for retail;
- educational lecturing;
- secondary employment, paid or unpaid, which does not contravene, and may not be perceived as contravening the list above.
Not likely to be approved:
- any interest or activity involving liquor, gambling or firearms;
- work for or on behalf of a provider of protection, security, investigatory or related services;
- any job which might interfere with the officer’s availability for duty – e.g. where they are required to provide a standby response;
- any interest which involves the use of official time, premises, property or information;
- work requiring confidentiality around possible criminal matters that could compromise the role of a police officer e.g. certain work within a residential drug rehabilitation centre;
- working as a retained fire fighter (this is illegal under Fire Services Act 1947).