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Standing Up for Standards: A Police Officer’s Struggle to Address Unqualified Police Trainers 

As a new recruit in the police force, Mary* was shocked to discover what was happening amongst police officers in her area.

Mary knows that so-called “trainers” are responsible for teaching police officers how to do their job and issuing licenses to those who have completed their training. However, Mary came across compelling evidence suggesting that more than a hundred trainers themselves were unqualified and lacked oversight of who had completed their training.

Mary raised her concerns with Human Resources multiple times but did not receive any response beyond reassurances that senior leaders were looking into this matter.

After blowing the whistle, Mary says she started being excluded from meetings. She told us this has affected her career advancement and professional development. She says she felt morally compelled to speak out, but now fears further negative treatment in response to escalating her concerns.

Mary reached out to Protect hoping to receive advice on how to stand up for police licensing standards without jeopardising her career. Protect helped her assess the pros and cons of  speaking directly to senior leaders responsible for investigating her concern, and advised her on how to do so in the safest and most effective way. Additionally the legal adviser suggested contacting the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Independent Office for Police Conduct if her internal complaint failed to yield a satisfactory outcome.

Mary knows there is a long road ahead, but she says she is grateful to Protect for making her feel heard, understood, and supported during a confusing and stressful period.

Mary’s case highlights the importance of seeking whistleblowing advice early. Raising her concerns anonymously could potentially have prevented Mary from being ostracized in the workplace and minimized the risk of being identified when making complaints to external parties.

*Name has been changed at request of the individual.