HOME AFFAIRS – PROTECTION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS – 10 April 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: It is never easy to be a whistleblower, but I cannot imagine a much tougher environment to be a whistleblower in than the police service. What practical measures of protection does the Committee recommend to safeguard the interests of people such as my hon. Friend’s brave constituent PC Patrick in the future?

[The Chairman of the Public Affairs Select Committee (Mr Bernard Jenkin): We recommend immunity from disciplinary proceedings while a whistleblowing process is under way. That is standard practice in the financial services industry, nuclear industry, aviation sector, transport sector and many other industries, and it should be so in the police as well. I am pleased to say that, in a letter sent to me by my hon. Friend the Minister, a number of possible options have been included. They are:

“Anonymity for the whistleblower from the point at which the allegation is made… “sealed” investigations so that, for a set period, no-one under investigation knows that it is happening… immunity from disciplinary/misconduct proceedings… financial incentives for whistleblowers, for example a share of recovered criminal assets from the case… protection against vexatious or malicious allegations.”

All those options would have made life very different for my constituent.]