Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Reforms to police complaints system comes into effect on February 1

31st January 2020

The changes from the Home Office will ensure that complaints can be dealt with quickly, effectively and proportionately, not just for the benefit of the public but also for the police.

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

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “These changes will ensure that issues or concerns about levels of police service or officers can be quickly addressed, but will also give the opportunity for reflection and learning where appropriate.

“These reforms will ensure the public retain their confidence in the accountability aspect of policing when standards are below what is expected, also ensuring complaints can be resolved quicker with the minimum of bureaucracy.

“The new system is more around organisational learning, improvement and reflection, rather than focusing purely on disciplinary measures. Although, there will still be discipline outcomes where it is found that police officers and staff are found guilty of serious misconduct.

“There will also be an opportunity to request a right of review. That right of review will be done independently of the police force by my office, and there to reassure individuals that their complaint has been resolved reasonably and proportionately.”

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: “We welcome the changes that are coming into place which put a greater emphasis on learning for both the individual and the wider organisation rather than immediately considering something as a discipline matter.

“We want a workforce that are dedicated, professional and uphold the highest standards of professional behaviour, and the vast majority of our officers, staff and volunteers fit this bill. 

“Where someone working for the police falls well short of expected standards then it is quite right that they are held to account and these reforms will not change this. What these reforms address though is where someone makes a mistake but with the best intentions. Nobody is perfect and receiving feedback should be welcomed, not seen as something negative.”

For more information about the changes and how to make a complaint, or to find any more information about the reforms visit https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/how-we-work/complaints-and-conduct.