The APCC has today welcomed Home Secretary Theresa May’s announcement that there will be a consultation on proposed reforms of the police complaints system.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Transparency and Integrity Standing Group, said:
“This is good news for both the public and the police. As it stands the police complaints system is broken. It is bureaucratic, complex, slow and lacks independence. This can have profound consequences on individuals who may be in very difficult circumstances. Police officers too can wait months for complaints to be resolved, very often with a cloud hanging over their heads.
“This is why, since my first week in office, I have been championing root and branch reform. Other Commissioners, the police themselves and the Independent Police Complaints Commission have all also called for change. Notwithstanding, Commissioners and others have been working hard locally to provide a responsive system despite its complexity. This includes innovative pilots that have trialled new approaches to improve transparency and responsiveness. It is therefore welcome news to see the Home Secretary building on this work and launching this consultation.
“Together, we need to refocus the process on the public, dealing with local complaints as quickly and straightforwardly as possible. This will be fairer to police officers and provide swifter resolution for all concerned. At the moment Commissioners are in a catch 22 position where we are the voice of our communities, receiving complaints and concerns, but don’t have any official remit to deal with them. This needs to change, and I look forward to a system which better meets the needs of the public, putting them at the heart of the process.”
On the IPCC, Julia Mulligan said: “The IPCC investigating the most serious and sensitive complaints is right and proper, but that process also needs to be focussed on the public, making sure it quicker and clearer.”
On the Chapman recommendations, she said: “The remaining Chapman recommendations are also important and Commissioners will give those proposals proper consideration to make sure the right balance is struck.”