PSC joint circular 116 – Political restrictions

LGA, 18 Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HZ
Employers’ Side Secretary, Sarah Ward
e-mail: [email protected]

Unison Centre,130 Euston Road
London, NW1 2AY
Trade Union Side Secretary, Ben Priestley
e-mail:  [email protected]

To: Police and Crime Commissioner (copy Chief Exec &Treasurer)
Chief Constables (copy Force Personnel/HR Manager/Payroll Manager)

cc: PSC Members
Scotland and MPS (for information only)

24 March 2021

PSC joint circular 116 – Political restrictions

Dear Sir/Madam,

This circular provides guidance on the role which police staff, as private citizens, can play in the forthcoming local elections, mayoral elections, Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament election and PCC elections to be held on 6 May 2021.

Unless police staff occupy a politically restricted role, forces are advised not to limit the role that individual police staff can play in elections.

Staff should therefore not be prohibited from standing as a candidate, campaigning for, or supporting, particular candidates for election either in or outside, their force area.

Forces should expect police staff to remain entirely politically neutral in their approach to elections when acting in their official capacity at work. However, this approach should not be extended to political activity in the member of staff’s own free time, unless under politically restricted roles.

While police staff are free to be members of political parties and to be active in those parties as private citizens, Forces should be made aware that PSC circular 39, (9 February 2006), endorses the ACPO (NPCC) restriction on, and disciplinary consequences of, any member of police staff being an active member of the BNP, the National Front or Combat 18. Active campaign work on behalf of an election candidate from one of these organisations would therefore render a member of police staff liable to disciplinary action.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Priestley, Trade Union Side Secretary
David Algie, Employers’ Side Secretariat