The Police and Crime Commissioner is the appropriate authority to consider complaints about the personal conduct of the Chief Constable. To find out more about the complaints process, please click HERE.
If you are a member of the public and would like to make a complaint about the conduct of the Chief Constable, please complete the Complaints Form which can submitted online or alternatively it can be downloaded and either emailed or posted to the office - details below:
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner
If the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is the appropriate authority, your complaint will be considered in compliance with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Statutory Guidance. Page 36 details the process for the initial handling and recording and pages 157 and 158 detail the complaints flowchart.
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Who to send your complaint to:
All complaints about the Chief Constable should be sent to Carolinehenrypcc@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk
If you complain directly to the Independent Office of Police Conduct, they will pass your complaint to us for progressing unless there are exceptional circumstances that justify the need for them to carry out an investigation themselves.
What to expect:
The way in which complaints about a Chief Constable are dealt with is described in legislation and there are different options for handling the complaint depending on its nature.
Unless the subject-matter of the complaint has been, or is already being, dealt with by means of criminal proceedings, the complaint will be determined either by the Police and Crime Commissioner, or the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Complaints involving the actions of the Chief Constable, and other persons serving with the police:
Where the matter concerns the Chief Constable and other persons serving with the police, the matter relating to the Chief Constable will be handled by us, and the matter relating to the other persons, by the police force.
Complaints that can be resolved quickly to your satisfaction:
We may be able to resolve some complaints quickly to your satisfaction. Complaints handled in this way are likely to be ones where you want an explanation, or for your concerns to be listened to, passed on, and addressed and could include one of more of the following actions being taken:
- We provide you with information and an explanation that you are satisfied with.
- We provide you with an update on outstanding matters.
- We answer questions you have.
- We offer an apology for poor service.
- We confirm that steps have been taken to prevent further error.
- We signpost you to appropriate services.
- We log your concerns for consideration when a policy or procedure is next due for review.
and you agree that these steps are sufficient to remedy the matter to your satisfaction.
If, however at any point it appears that remedying the matter to your satisfaction cannot be achieved in a timely manner, or without substantial additional steps being taken, you can ask for your complaint to be handled under the legislation concerning police complaints and police misconduct. This means that it must then be dealt with according to formal rules and guidance, and you have a right to a review of that handling if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome. The next section provides further information about complaints handled in this way.
Complaints that require additional steps to resolve:
Complaints that require additional steps to resolve are likely to qualify for handling under legislation concerning police complaints and police misconduct (the Police Reform Act 2002, Schedule 3).
Such complaints will be ‘recorded’, and we are required to notify you promptly when we do this. Recording a complaint means that it has formal status under the Police Reform Act 2002. It must then be dealt with according to formal rules and guidance. If we do not record your complaint, and you believe we should have, you can appeal to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Recorded complaints will either be handled by us, or by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, depending on the matter under complaint. The way in which the complaint is handled must be reasonable and proportionate to the matter in question.
Depending on the circumstances, this may mean:
- an investigation of the matter
- seeking to resolving your concerns in another way
- on occasion, informing you that no further action will be taken.
‘Reasonable and proportionate’ is explained in the police complaints legislation as:
Doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts of the matter and the context in which it has been raised within the framework of legislation and guidance, weighing up the matter’s seriousness and its potential for learning, against the efficient use of policing resources.
The ‘reasonable and proportionate’ approach relates to all aspects of the complaint handling process.
Complaints that we are required to refer to the Independent Office for Police Conduct:
We are required to promptly refer all qualifying complaints about the Chief Constable to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who will decide whether the matter should be investigated. We will notify you when we make such a referral.
A complaint that will be referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct is likely to be one that:
Where the conduct alleged, if it were proved,
i) could justify the bringing of criminal or disciplinary proceedings
ii) involved the infringement of a person’s Human Rights
i) serious assault, or sexual offence
ii) serious corruption
iii) discriminatory behaviour on the grounds of a person’s status under the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights legislation
i) the matter complained about resulted in death or serious injury
ii) the gravity of the subject matter is considered to warrant referral
If the Independent Office for Police Conduct decide that it should be investigated, then they will determine how it is investigated, which for a Chief Officer will be either a directed investigation (where the Independent Office for Police Conduct will oversee an investigation undertaken by an appropriate person from another police force or National Crime Agency ) or an independent investigation (an investigation carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct themselves).
If they decide that a matter does not need to be investigated by them, then it will generally refer the matter back to us to handle. In any event, they / we will inform you of their decision.
What we will do:
As soon as possible after receiving your complaint, we will acknowledge receipt and keep you informed of progress. At the same time, we will seek clarification from you to ensure that we properly understand your complaint, your views on how the complaint should be handled, the outcome you want and any adjustments that may be required to enable you to participate effectively in the process.
If we consider that your issue falls outside the police complaints system, we will inform you of this, and why. We will also explain the options available to you, including what you can do if you are dissatisfied with the way in which we propose to handle your complaint.
If we are not the appropriate body to deal with your complaint, we are required to send it to the appropriate body and we are not required to seek your consent to do this. We will inform you that we have done this, the content of what has been sent and the name of the body it has been sent to. An example when this will be the case is where a complaint names the Chief Constable but the complaint is about something where authority has been delegated to another officer or staff member within the police force.
Complaints that do not qualify for referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, or that are referred back to us to handle by the Independent Office for Police Conduct:
For recorded complaints that do not qualify for referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, or that are referred back to us by the Independent Office of Police Conduct to handle, we will contact you promptly to explain the options available to you, including what you can do if you are dissatisfied with the way in which we propose to handle your complaint.
Sometimes, the outcome you want may not be possible, or may not be reasonable or proportionate. If and when it becomes apparent that the outcome of a complaint is unlikely to meet your expectations, we will contact you promptly to explain the reason for this to you.
Similarly, where no further action is required of us to reasonably and proportionately respond to a complaint, we will provide you with a sound and clear rationale for this approach. We will also provide information about how you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed if you are not satisfied.
We will inform you in writing of the outcome of your complaint. This will include an explanation of how the matter has been handled, the actions taken, the findings and the outcome. If appropriate, it will also include the reasons for not taking certain actions.
At the same time, we will provide you with details about your rights to a review, who to address your request for review to, and what you are required to include in your request.
We are required to inform and keep you updated in writing, however depending on your wishes, information can be provided both in writing and by another method to meet your needs.
Consideration will be given to whether it is appropriate to offer or grant requests for a meeting if this is the best way to keep you properly informed. As soon as practicable after any such meeting, you will be sent a written record of the meeting with an explanation of how any concerns raised will be addressed.
Additional responsibilities where your complaint has been subject to an investigation overseen by us (local investigation):
Where your complaint has been subject to an investigation overseen by us, we have additional responsibilities towards keeping you informed. Unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so, we will keep you informed about the following:
- Information about the stage reached
- What has been done
- What remains to be done
- Where applicable, a summary of any significant evidence obtained.
- The likely timescale for completing the investigation or other handling, any revisions to this and the reason for the revision.
- If there is a delay, why there is a delay and steps taken to address any impacts of the delay.
The first update will be provided in writing within four weeks of the start of the handling of the complaint or matter, and subsequent updates will be provided at least every four weeks after that.
Investigations may take some time to complete. If an investigation exceeds 12 months, we will provide you with information that will include:
- The progress of the investigation
- An estimate of when the report on the investigation will be submitted or completed
- The reason for the length of time being taken to complete the investigation, and
- A summary of the planned steps to progress the investigation and bring it to a conclusion.
Unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so, you will also be provided with a copy of the investigation report.
Complaints investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct:
If your complaint is referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for investigation, unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so, they are required to keep you informed.