We expect a high level of conduct and behaviour from their officers and staff and any breaches of these standards will be dealt with.

When we are made aware that an officer may have fallen below these standards, either internally or externally, the matter is investigated. This may be by Merseyside Police or the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) or a combination of the two. There will be a thorough investigation of any alleged misconduct before any disciplinary action is taken.

The aim of the investigation is to establish the facts.

Depending on the circumstances the officer may be restricted in the duties that they perform, limiting the work they can be involved in, or in some cases it may be appropriate to suspend an officer whilst the investigation is on-going.

To ensure police officers are held to account for their actions, as of 12 January 2015, officers cannot give notice to resign or retire where they are:

■subject of a misconduct investigation and the officer has a live final written warning,

■or they are subject of a gross misconduct investigation.

This will continue until either a decision is made not to refer the matter to a hearing, or proceedings have concluded.

The Deputy Chief Constable (Appropriate Authority) can consent to an officer giving notice to resign or retire only if there are exceptional circumstances or medical reasons.

Following an investigation, a decision is made as to if there is a case to answer and what action will follow. An assessment is made as to whether the conduct is considered misconduct or gross misconduct. If the assessment is that gross misconduct should be considered the matter will go to a misconduct hearing where all of the evidence is presented to a panel of three people.

If the panel finds the case is proved then they will make a decision as to the appropriate sanction. These can range from management action to dismissal without notice.

All misconduct procedures are set out in the Police (conduct) Regulations 2012.