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PCC welcomes major changes to police complaints system

PCC Lorne Green has welcomed the introduction of new legislation which aims to change the way police complaints are handled while improving the discipline process for officers.

New regulations which came into play on 1 February 2020 now mean anyone dissatisfied with an outcome of a complaint made against Norfolk Constabulary now has the right to request a review of that decision with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Home Office has worked closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), staff associations and others to develop a comprehensive package of improvements.

Welcoming the changes PCC Lorne Green, said: “Part of my role as Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner is to regularly hold the police to account to ensure Norfolk residents receive a service they rightly deserve from their local constabulary.

“I am very proud of the professional manner in which our officers conduct themselves working with the upmost integrity and dedication to ensure Norfolk remains a safe place in which to live and work.

“However, when police standards fall below what is expected it is crucial we have in place a system that can quickly and effectively establish what has gone wrong.

“My office has been preparing for some time for the introduction of the new legislation and I have every confidence such reforms will ensure the Norfolk public can maintain confidence in the integrity of their police service.”

The Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2020 introduced by the Home Office aim to:

  • bring greater independence, accountability and improved customer service to the complaints process;
  • deal with issues quickly, in a reasonable and proportionate manner.
  • provide greater flexibility in complaint handling, to achieve a more customer focused complaint system.

As well as simplifying the complaints system, the changes mean that PCCs will have a greater role to increase independence and improve complaints handling.

From 1 February anyone dissatisfied with the way that Norfolk Constabulary has dealt with their complaint has the right to ask for a review of the outcome of their complaint.

Depending on the circumstances, the application for a review will be considered by the Local Policing Body who is either the PCC or the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The reforms will also deliver a more efficient system for dealing with police misconduct, making the investigation processes simpler and therefore quicker, including a requirement to provide an explanation to the Police and Crime Commissioner where investigations take longer than 12 months.

Importantly, the reforms aim to make the discipline system more proportionate and encourage a much greater emphasis on learning from mistakes.

For more information on the reforms visit our Complaints page here>>