A guide to how complaints work - West Yorkshire Police

westyorkshire.police.uk

A guide to how complaints work - West Yorkshire Police

A guide to how

complaints work


West Yorkshire Police takes complaints very seriously

This guidance has been produced to assist you in how to make a complaint. A separate

link has also been produced providing you with information on the various methods of

making a complaint which are open to you.

The table is designed to provide you with an understanding of who your complaint will be

directed to and who will have responsibility for dealing with it. You should however make

your complaint by one of the methods explained in a separate document. It will show you

who you may want to make a complaint about and who will deal with that complaint. By

clicking on any of the options you will be taken to a further slide which will show the

process your complaint will take, up to the point of the initial outcome.

1


Terms of reference and definitions explained:

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

The PCC will be responsible for holding the Chief Constable and Police Force to account

on the public’s behalf. They will oversee how crime is tackled in their area and aim to make

sure the Police are providing a good service.

It is said that the PCC has five key roles, those being:

• Representing and engaging with all those who live and work in communities in their

force area and identifying their policing needs.

• Setting priorities that meet those needs by agreeing a local strategic plan for the

force.

• Holding the Chief Constable to account for achieving these set priorities as efficiently

and effectively as possible, and playing a role in wider questions of community safety.

• Setting the force budget.

• Appointing and, where necessary, removing the Chief Constable.

Police and Crime Panel (PCP)

The panel is responsible for holding the PCC to account, promoting transparency in the

delivery of policing services and supporting the PCC in their role.

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)

The OPCC will support the PCC to enable them to successfully undertake their duties.

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

The IPCC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales. It is independent

and so makes its decisions independently of the police, government and complainants.

Professional Standards Department (PSD)

PSD is responsible for the recording and assessment of all public complaints, whether

they are about Police Officers, Police Staff or Special Constables.

They also investigate the more serious allegations of misconduct and allegations of

corruption involving Police Officers and Specials.

2


Making a Complaint

Who do you want to complain about?

Who you should complain to

Police and Crime Commissioner

Police and Crime Panel

Staff working within the Office of the

Police and Crime Commissioner

Chief Executive of the Office of the

Police and Crime Commissioner

Police and Crime Panel

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

Chief Constable

Police and Crime Commissioner

Assistant Chief Constable /

Deputy Chief Constable

Chief Constable

Police Officer / Staff member

Chief Constable

Complaint against the organisation

Chief Constable

3


Outcomes

The reviewing officers within the Professional Standards Department (PSD) assess

complaints and make decisions as to whether they are most appropriately dealt with by

PSD or by the particular divisional Quality and Standards Department. Generally matters

which are of a criminal nature or which may result in dismissal are likely to be dealt with by

PSD.

Human Resources play a significant role in the manner in which Police Staff complaints

are investigated.

Criminal allegations / investigations about any of the following bodies will initially be

investigated by the IPCC:

• PCC

• Staff within the OPCC

• Members of the PCP

Criminal allegations/investigations about the following will be the responsibilty of the PCC

but are likely to be referred to the IPCC.

• Chief Constable

• Assistant Chief Constable / Deputy Chief Constable

The possible outcomes of such investigations are as follows:

• Crown Prosecution service referral

• Discipline sanction

• No further action

Non criminal allegations against the same bodies will have likely outcomes of either

discipline sanction or no further action.

Criminal investigations against other officers or staff members below the rank of ACC will

be likely investigated by either the IPCC or PSD.

Non criminal investigations against other officers or staff members below the rank of ACC

will be likely investigated by either PSD or the relevant divisional Quality and Standards

department.

The Chief Constable may refer complaints against the organisation to be investigated by

PSD or the relevant Division or department.

4


Police and Crime Commissioner

Who the

Complaint Is About

PCC

Who to

Complain to

PCP

Nature of

complaint

Criminal

Non Criminal

Who will

investigate

IPCC

PCP / WMDC


Staff working within OPCC

Who the complaint

is about

Staff within

OPCC

Who to

Complain to

Chief Exec or

Treasurer of OPCC

Nature

Of Complaint

Criminal

Non Criminal

Who will

Investigate

IPCC

PCP / WMDC


Police and Crime Panel

Who the

Complaint Is About

PCP

Who to

Complain to

WMDC

Nature of

complaint

Criminal

Non Criminal

Who will

investigate

IPCC

CSC


Chief Constable

Who the

complaint is about

Who to

complain to

Chief Constable OPCC / PCC

Nature of

complaint

Criminal

Non Criminal

Who will

investigate

IPCC / PCC

PCC


ACC / DCC

Who the complaint

is about

Who to

Complain to

ACC / DCC Chief Constable

Nature

Of Complaint

Criminal

Non Criminal

Who will

Investigate

IPCC / Other Force

Other Force


Police Officer / Staff Member

Who the complaint

is about

Police Officer

Staff Member

Who to

Complain to

Nature

Of Complaint

Who will

Investigate

Chief Constable

Criminal

IPCC / PSD

PSD Non Criminal

PSD / Division


Complaint against the organisation

Who the complaint

is about

Who to

Complain to

Complaint against

the organisation

Chief Constable

PSD

Nature

Of Complaint

Who will

Investigate

Division / Dept*

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