The Home Affairs Select Committee (HSAC) has today published its report on The Independent Police Complaints Commission. Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has also been looking at how complaints can be handled better at a local level.
In her first draft Police and Crime Plan, to be published on 4th February, Julia is proposing a new complaints handling office.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire said:
It will be based on the twin principles of independence and transparency.
Separate from the police, it will seek to end the perception of the police investigating themselves here in North Yorkshire. The office will also aim to achieve a better, more people-focused service, whilst meeting its various statutory responsibilities.
The new office will be yet another way for the public of North Yorkshire to hold their police force to account and to have confidence in the force.
It is high time that we provided a more independent approach to investigating police complaints and to rebuild trust in our force. When a member of the public makes a complaint they need to know it is being investigated and handled with independence.
Only then will the public have the confidence that their complaint will be taken seriously. What’s more, the integrity of the police is paramount, and I think this will be a positive step in restoring the faith that some members of the public seem to have lost.
The proposal is one idea amongst a number of new initiatives included in Julia’s draft Police and Crime Plan, upon which Julia will be consulting over the coming six weeks.
The North Yorkshire Police currently has procedures and policies in place for handling complaints – the Professional Standards Directorate (PSD), within the North Yorkshire Police, is responsible for the investigation of all public complaints, whether they are made about Police Officers, Police Staff or Special Constables.
Complaints can also be made directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), although, depending upon the seriousness of complaint, they do encourage resolution at a local level. The PSD also refers cases to the IPCC.
Also, it is actively encouraged to provide feedback to the officers involved with a case. It is also possible to raise concerns with more senior officers, to allow a problem to be tacked, or the course of action being taken explained further.