Durham Constabulary are committed to providing an excellent policing service that we and those we serve can be proud of and which keeps our communities safe. We will continually strive to act with integrity, fairness and respect in delivering this service to ensure that the confidence and support of those we serve is protected as our most valued asset.
Our staff will perform their duty consistent with the Code of Ethics which has been developed by the College of Policing. The Code provides information on how to achieve ethical decision making and indicates how breaches of the Code will be dealt with. It combines policing principles and standards of behaviour in a single document; is inclusive, applying to everyone in Durham Constabulary be it police officers, staff, special constables, volunteers or contractors.
Click here for a summary of our Code of Ethics
In Durham Constabulary we expect our staff to adopt a mature, professional approach when delivering your policing service and encourage them to exercise well-reasoned judgement and discretion with the ultimate aim of ‘doing the right thing’ by policing to the needs of those we serve.
Our force values which deliver the "Durham Difference" are positivity, courageousness, fairness, inclusivity with integrity.
When we get things wrong we will acknowledge and understand our mistakes, learn lessons for the future and follow a restorative approach to repair any harm done and find a positive way forward.
Our focus will go beyond identifying culpability and will also focus on fixing problems to ensure our service continually improves. Our behaviour, actions and decisions will always be in support of the public interest. We value public trust and confidence in policing as an institution and to earn this we will be open to scrutiny and be transparent. This will include the attendance at misconduct hearings, which need to be in public.
Durham Constabulary will enforce standards and educate our staff to ensure our workforce understands and achieves the high standards expected of us.
Gender Pay Gap report
The force is required to carry out Gender Pay Reporting under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. This measures gender pay over six different metrics, and information is published annually on the force website. The data shows that there exists a gender pay gap and the force is committed to eliminate the gap via the following steps:
- Ensuring open and transparent recruitment procedures are in place to encourage females to apply to join the force at all levels
- Transparent procedures for identifying and delivering learning and development needs across the force as part of maximising both its capacity and capability
- Ensuring open and fair promotion processes across the force
- Having strong role models across the force
- The application of family friendly policies
- The application of flexible working practices
The above will require the ongoing review of procedures, the provision of unconscious bias training as well as feedback from both male and female officers and staff in relation to the openness and fairness for core procedures. Realistically, however, it will take time to eliminate the gender pay gap despite a clear commitment by the force.
Read our latest Gender Pay Gap report.
In Durham Constabulary we expect our staff to adopt a professional approach when delivering your policing service which is in line with our values of ‘positive, fair, courageous and inclusive with integrity’.
We encourage our staff to exercise well-reasoned judgement and discretion with the ultimate aim of ‘doing the right thing’ by policing in a way which is bespoke to the needs of those we serve.
In order to understand how well we are delivering the services that we provide, we carry out regular, public consultation and survey work and in particular, victim satisfaction surveys.
These are surveys of people who have recently come into contact with the police after reporting either a burglary, vehicle crime, violent crime, criminal damage, harassment, fraud or an incident of hate or those reporting anti-social behaviour. We have also recently introduced a survey for those affected by domestic abuse. The results of these surveys are analysed and the findings are used to drive improvements to the services that we provide to the public.
We also carry out a programme of public consultation on a wide range of policing issues, via surveys, focus groups and engagement with specific minority groups to ensure the views of the public are represented across all communities.
Victim Satisfaction Surveys
These are telephone satisfaction i.e., genuine opinion surveys and are carried out on our behalf by SMSR Ltd. (Social and Market Strategic Research). SMSR are an independent social research agency, based in Hull, who meet the requirements of the national framework contract developed by the Home Office. The only purpose of these surveys is to ask people i.e. victims of offending/incidents/crimes about the quality of service that they received from Durham Constabulary in a consistent and independent manner and allows us to provide information to His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), enabling them to conduct Victim Service Assessments, which are done for each police force as part of an independent and mandated inspection process. SMSR sample 15% of all victims and if selected, a person may be contacted by SMSR up to 8 to 12 weeks from the reported event. These satisfaction surveys are genuine opinion surveys only and are not in any way market research surveys nor are they direct or indirect marketing surveys nor are they promotional/advertising surveys.
Victim Feedback 2022/23 Results
The latest annual results from Durham’s Victim Satisfaction Survey work shows that when taking the whole experience into account, 82% of the victims of crime surveyed, were satisfied with the service we had provided to them. Further, 93% of those victims were satisfied with the treatment they received from the officers and staff that they interacted with. Additionally, and a specific area of focus for Durham, a small improvement was made in terms of how satisfied victims feel regarding how well we keep them informed about the progress of their crime, with 78% of victims stating they were satisfied with the follow up they had received. Work continues across the whole Force, working with staff from the PCC’s Office, focussing on victim and witness service improvement actions and we hope to see this work reflected in the 2023/24 results.
Victim Feedback 2021/22 Results
In general, victims told us that they were satisfied with the service that we provided to them and taking the whole experience into account 82% of victims said that they were satisfied with the way their crime was dealt with. Victims were satisfied they could get in touch with us with 96% satisfied with ease of contacting us and victims felt they had been treated well, with 94% stating they were satisfied with the treatment they had received. Further, 77% of victims stated they were satisfied with the follow up information we had provided.
Statutory Legal Gateways for Surveys
This telephone survey processing is fair and necessary as in the significant public interest. This is because it accords with public task and legitimate interests policing requirements, to improve public confidence and trust in policing and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing services across Co Durham. All Forces in England and Wales are expected by the Home Office and also by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) to seek feedback from victims via surveys or via other means. Victim satisfaction surveys form part of Durham Constabulary’s official functions to ensure we provide an efficient and effective policing service. The statutory need to be efficient and effective is set out in primary legislation, namely the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Order 2011. The lawful basis for surveys is also derived from Section 143 (1) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 that enables local policing bodies (a local policing body is a Police and Crime Commissioner or a Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) to arrange for the provision of services in their own right or via their associated Police Force, that, in the opinion of the local policing body will secure, or contribute to securing, crime and disorder reduction in the body’s area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why have you passed my details on to a private research company?
In order that we can independently gather information that helps us to understand the services we are providing, we share a limited amount of information with SMSR for the sole purpose of allowing them to contact you and ask for your views on the quality of service you were provided with through the victim satisfaction surveys.
Is this in breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
No, SMSR act on our behalf to do work that is directly connected to the core business of Durham Constabulary.
We do not seek service users consent for this necessary survey function, as we use the alternative and equal to consent DPA 2018 and GDPR enabling legal conditions of public task and legitimate interests to then legally process personal data for the survey purpose.
We have a data processing contract with SMSR, which deals specifically with issues relating to the use of personal information. This contract states that SMSR may use the information only for the purpose of conducting victim satisfaction surveys on behalf of Durham Constabulary. It also states that this personal information is not to be used or retained by SMSR for any other purpose, that approved security measures are put in place to protect the data and that all SMSR staff having access to the information must sign a confidentiality agreement. More information about the Data Protection Act 2018 and your rights can be found on the Office of the Information Commissioner website.
What if I don’t want to take part in this survey?
If you are contacted to take part in the survey but you do not want to, simply tell the SMSR caller and they will end the call and remove your contact details from their system.
If you would prefer not to be included in any more potential satisfaction survey, please let the caller know this as well; alternatively, please contact us directly by emailing us at: email@example.com and provide your name, address and telephone number.
Body Worn Camera (BWC)/Body Worn Video (BWV)
Body Worn Camera (BWC)/Body Worn Video (BWV) is an overt method by which Durham Constabulary (the Force) users can obtain and secure evidence at the scene of incidents and crimes and at safeguarding events. These procedures are intended to enable officers and staff to comply with legislation and guidance to create evidence for use in court proceedings and for other policing purposes including justifying policing actions, justifying and demonstrating fair policing tactics deployed, to mitigate against malicious, false or unfair complaints, defend legal claims or settle legal claims and also to protect the interests and well-being of all service users i.e. members of the public.
When used effectively BWV can promote public reassurance, capture best evidence, modify behaviour, prevent harm and deter people from committing crime and anti-social behaviour. Recordings will provide independent evidence that will improve the quality of prosecution cases and may reduce the reliance on victim evidence, particularly those who may be vulnerable or reluctant to attend court.
Using recordings can also impact on the professionalism of the service and support the professional development of officers and staff.
Body Worn Video/Camera footage has been adjudged by the Courts to be justifiable for preventing and detecting crime. Footage collects valuable evidence for use in criminal prosecutions and provides a record to promote integrity and confidence in policing and objective evidence of controversial events and interactions. It offers protection for the Police and for members of the public/citizens. Body worn footage can be legally retained outside of Court proceedings/Court evidential use only needs/requirements.
Body Worn Video/Camera footage can be important in quickly resolving legal claims and also complaint matters to avoid lengthy complaint investigations. Footage provides a clear and impartial record of any interaction and often captures and secures a first account of a victim and/or a witness. Footage secures best evidence of attended events and can be used to quickly identify the accurate happening of events. Video evidence is more accurate and of a higher quality and, therefore in the interests of all parties i.e. the complainant and those complained about in relation to their performance and/or approaches/attitude etc. Video footage safeguards all parties involved in police events as it is a true and accurate recording of any significant or otherwise statement made by either party or all parties at the scene of the event. Video footage safeguards officers/staff against any potential allegations from other persons involved in the event and also safeguards the person or persons who have called the Police to attend a reported incident or crime or other event. Footage provides greater transparency and allows officers and staff to show that they have followed the correct procedures if their actions are challenged or the footage evidences otherwise, in support of complaints and/or legal claims made. Footage offers protection for the Police and also for members of the public/citizens. Body worn footage can be legally retained outside of Court proceedings/Court evidential use only needs/requirements.
As a public authority, Durham Constabulary in the main is funded by tax payers monies and must always demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness in its use of finite and publicly funded resources to all citizens of the Force and wider. Speedy resolution of investigations, and case prosecutions and other criminal justice sanctions, and legal claims and also of complaint investigations demonstrates efficiency and effectiveness of Police actions and resources.
BWV Data is processed and managed by Durham Constabulary (the Force) in line with the statutory Code of Practice and Guidance on the Management of Police Information (MoPI), national Police Service Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on Information Management, The Data Protection Act 2018 (which incorporates General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)), and national and Force Body Worn Camera/Video Data Policy and Guidance.
The use of body-worn video must be proportionate, legitimate and necessary and incident, crime, safeguarding and national security event etc specific.
Unless in a covert policing situation, all Force cameras are visibly and openly worn on the police officers or PCSOs or staff members body i.e., on the uniform or on the head. The cameras used are small black units with a high visibility yellow i.e. fluorescent section immediately above the lens and the ring i.e. at the top of the camera, which highlights a camera symbol and ‘Video & Audio’ in black on the yellow background. The ‘Video & Audio’ is alongside the visible camera image/icon.
The camera is designed to give a double beep when recording is started, accompanied by a constant flashing red ring on the front of the camera, that indicates the camera is recording and on the camera itself. Each activated camera beeps loudly when started and every 2 minutes after that, so as to fairly ‘notify’, the event/persons are being recorded. There is a ‘stealth’ mode for the cameras but when the beep is heard, it unlikely that the ‘stealth’ mode had then been lawfully activated.
Retention Period for BWC footage
BWC footage is generally retained for a minimum period of six (6) years, where the footage is linked to an associated law enforcement or safeguarding Force report.
Consent to Use BWC/BWV
Users of Durham Constabulary BWC/BWV will not seek explicit consent when deploying the device, as the Force legitimately deploys BWC/BVW in the pressing social need under the equal to consent legal Data Protection gateways of public task and/or to protect the vital interests of a person or persons. For fairness reasons, unless in a covert policing situation, an announcement will be made re the deployment of the Force camera.
The new national Police Service Policy (October 2023) for BWC details that – “In principle, users are not required to obtain the expressed consent of any person being filmed. However, they must inform them that they are being filmed when it is reasonable and practicable to do so.”