Members Area - Contact With Suspended Officers
Suspension of a police officer is officially and technically a neutral act. The effect on that officer is far from neutral. Feelings of being ostracised and isolated from one's colleagues are common place.
What is also common place is a request from Sussex Police managers or Professional Standards Department that any contact with a suspended officer must be reported.
Federation advice is that this can only ever be a request and cannot ever be a lawful requirement or order unless that contact contains evidence in relation to a criminal offence.
Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights states that:
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
Sussex Police is a public authority and you will note that Article 8 makes no provision for Police Misconduct Proceedings.If you meet with a suspended colleague and wish the content of that meeting to remain private then that is your choice. Likewise if you wish to disclose the content of that meeting to PSD or your manager that is also your choice.
If you are ordered to do so then politely decline and seek federation assistance.