Future changes to how police complaints are handled
On 31st January 2017, The Policing and Crime Act 2017 received Royal Assent; Chapter 3, part 2 of the act makes provision about the handling of police complaints and other matters relating to police conduct, together with further provision in respect of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The new legislation covers a number of different aspects of the complaints process including:
- The receiving and recording of the initial complaint
- The method by which the complaint should be dealt with
- The appeal process where the complainant has not been satisfied with what has taken place and the final outcome
The Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is committed to ensuring that where a complaint is made or a complaint issue is brought to his attention, the response in Norfolk delivers a fair and transparent process which is fully compliant with the relevant legislation and guidance. In anticipation of the 2017 Act, the PCC has been, and will continue to work closely with interested parties to ensure a high quality service is maintained as any necessary changes are delivered.
The exact timetable for delivering any changes remains to be finalised, however the PCC is keen to move forward with this work as soon as possible. A link to the Policing and Crime Act 2017 is included for ease of access: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/3/contents/enacted/data.htm
Your PCC works with the Chief Constable to make sure the policing service received by communities in Norfolk is professional, effective and efficient.
If we get things wrong, we would like you to tell us so that we have an opportunity to apologise and put things right. Equally, we are always appreciative of any complimentary comments when communities feel something has been done well.
Complaints submitted to the OPCCN are handled in line with our complaints handling policing, and supplemental policy on persistent and vexatious complaints.
OPCCN Complaints Handling Policy (PDF, 304 KB)
Supplemental Policy on Persistent and Vexatious complaints (PDF, 99 KB)
Complaints against Norfolk Constabulary
Your PCC is responsible for monitoring how the Constabulary handles complaints against its officers and staff. He/she is not involved in the investigation of such complaints.
Complaints against Norfolk Constabulary should be sent to the Professional Standards Department who will respond to you.
Professional Standards Department
Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies
- Telephone: 101
You also have the right to make a complaint against Norfolk Constabulary directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Complaints against the Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary
Your PCC has a statutory duty to consider complaints against the Chief Constable. If you wish to make a formal complaint against the Chief Constable, please contact the PCC in writing at OPCCN, Building 8, Jubilee House, Falconers Chase, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 0WW.
Please note that the OPCCN cannot investigate anonymous complaints and will not enter into correspondence with individuals who have used foul or abusive language.
Complaints against the Police and Crime Commissioner or his staff
Any complaint about the conduct of your PCC, OPCCN staff, policies and procedures or any volunteer working on the PCC’s behalf should be put in writing to the OPCCN Chief Executive, Mark Stokes.
The Chief Executive has been given delegated authority by the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel to carry out the initial handling of complaints. He will pass complaints on to the panel if deemed appropriate.
The following complaints monitoring reports have been provided to the Panel:
- Complaints Monitoring Report - 2 February 2017 (PDF, 554 KB)
- Complaints Monitoring Report - 20 June 2017 (PDF, 556 KB)
- Complaints Monitoring Report - 22 November 2016 (PDF, 555 KB)
Whistleblowing is the reporting (through confidential channels) of any behaviour which is suspected to be illegal, improper or unethical. Statutory provisions relating to the disclosure of information by employees (known as whistleblowing) to expose malpractice, criminal offences, etc. within an organisation apply to police officers, police staff and the staff of the OPCCN.
It is the responsibility of all staff of the OPCCN to report any behaviour which they suspect may be corrupt, dishonest or unethical and all staff are encouraged to do so.
Individuals are protected from action by their employer (e.g. victimisation or dismissal) in respect of disclosures falling within categories set out in section 43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996. They can be reassured of total confidentiality or anonymity if they do not wish to provide their details, however if a response is required, then contact details should be included.
These statutory provisions are reflected in the policies and guidance that apply to staff of the Constabulary and the PCC and which set out the mechanisms available for confidential reporting and actions to be taken. This information can be accessed by Constabulary and OPCCN staff on the intranet, or advice can be sought from the Professional Standards Department.