MAKING A COMPLAINT

This page provides information regarding who has responsibility for the various types of complaint which might arise and where you should address your complaint. It also advises on how the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner deals with complaints which are its responsibility.

Section 5 of this page provides information on the right to apply for a review where a complaint has been recorded under Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002. The review will consider whether complaints subject to an investigation by the appropriate authority, or handled otherwise by investigation were reasonable and proportionate.

1. COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER (PCC)

The appropriate authority for complaints made against PCCs, and their deputies, is the Police and Crime Panel (PCP). The Police and Crime Panel is responsible for initial recording of complaints and conduct matters and for referring any complaints which allege criminality to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Where complaints do not allege criminality, the panel is responsible for handling and informally resolving these complaints.

The Police and Crime Panel agreed at its meeting on 25 January 2013 to delegate:

to the Chief Executive of the Office for the PCC responsibility for receipt and initial handling and recording of complaints in accordance with Part 2 of the Regulations.
to the Monitoring Officer of Suffolk County Council, responsibility for securing informal resolution of complaints as referred to in Part 4 of the Regulations, and ensuring that suitable material will be made available as public information in relation to complaints about the PCC.
For more detailed information please see the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 and the Home Office Guidance.

If you have a complaint about the Suffolk PCC please make your complaint in writing to the Chief Executive at the following address:

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3QS

Or e-mail to: spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk

Or telephone: 01473 782773

2. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN

Police and Crime Commissioners and their office come under the jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). The LGO may have a role in considering a complaint from a member of the public where there is an allegation of maladministration and once the local complaints process has been exhausted. For further information you can visit the LGO website at www.lgo.org.uk.

3. COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE CHIEF CONSTABLE

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is responsible for recording and investigating complaints against the Chief Constable. In dealing with complaints about the Chief Constable, the PCC will follow the statutory guidance issued by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and in line with the Police (Complaints and Conduct) Regulations 2020.

All complaints must be in writing to the Chief Executive at the following address:

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3QS

Or e-mail to: spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Or telephone: 01473 782773

Complaints may also be made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct via their website www.policeconduct.gov.uk or by telephone on 0300 020 0096. In certain circumstances, the PCC is required to refer matters to the IPCC.

4. COMPLAINTS ABOUT POLICE OFFICERS AND POLICE STAFF

If you wish to make a complaint against a police officer (other than the Chief Constable) or a member of police staff that works for Suffolk Constabulary, there is a dedicated section of the Suffolk Constabulary’s website which includes all the information you need.

If you choose to put your complaint in writing, please try to provide a full account of the incident to:

Professional Standards Department
Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies
Jubilee House
Falconers Chase
Wymondham
NR18 0WW

or e-mail psd@norfolk.pnn.police.uk
or telephone Suffolk Constabulary on 101

Alternatively, you can visit the Independent Office for Police Conduct website or contact them by telephone on 0300 020 0096, or write to them at

Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW

Or e-mail enquiries@policeconduct.gov.uk

The IOPC is completely independent of the police and is responsible for making sure that complaints against the police are dealt with properly. In certain circumstances, you can appeal to the IOPC if you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with by the police.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) does not deal with complaints about police officers and staff who work for Suffolk Constabulary (apart from the Chief Constable). However the PCC does have a responsibility to monitor, and keep themselves informed of, complaints and misconduct issues relating to police officers and staff. The PCC regularly monitors information about complaints received by Suffolk Constabulary and the lessons learned by the force.

5. REVIEW OF COMPLAINTS DEALT WITH BY SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Suffolk Constabulary has dealt with your complaint you have a right to review.

There is a right of review in respect of complaints that have been investigated by the Chief Constable and that have been dealt with other than by investigation.

An application for a review will be considered either by the PCC or the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC is the relevant review body where:

• The complaint is about the conduct of the Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable or an Assistant Chief Constable;
• The Chief Constable is unable to satisfy themselves from the complaint that the conduct complained of (if proved) would not justify the bringing of criminal or disciplinary proceedings against a person serving with the police, or would not involve the infringement of a person’s rights under Article 203 of the European Convention of Human Rights;
• The complaint has been or must be referred to the IOPC;
• The IOPC is treating the complaint as having been referred;
• The complaint arises from the same incident as a complaint falling within the above four categories;
• Any part of the complaint falls within any of the above.

In all other cases the PCC is the review body.

A review must consider whether the outcome of your complaint was reasonable and proportionate.

On completion of a review the PCC (or those acting on his behalf) may make recommendations to Suffolk Constabulary but cannot compel the Force to act. However, in the event that a recommendation is made, Suffolk Constabulary must provide a written response that will be provided to the PCC and to you as the person seeking the review of their complaint.

The PCC (or those acting on his behalf) may, upon completion of the review, decide that no further action is required.

In both of the above outcomes you will be provided with a written response detailing the review decision. Upon completion of this process there is no further right of review.

If you would like to request a review you must provide the following information:

• Details of the complaint;
• The date on which on which the complaint was made;
• Confirmation that it is a decision of Suffolk Constabulary that is subject of the application;
• The date of which you were provided with the details about your right to review;
• A brief explanation of the reason why the review is being requested.

An application for review must be made in writing either by:

• Email to SuffolkOPCCReview@Suffolk.pnn.police.uk stating “Application for Review” in the subject, or

• Post addressed to;

Chief Executive
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
IP5 3QS.

If you are unable to submit a request in writing then please contact 01473 782773 for further assistance.

Please note the following important information:

• An application for review must be received within 28 days starting with the day after you were provided with the details of your right to a review at the conclusion of the investigation or other handling of their complaint;
• Upon receipt of a request for a review, an initial validity assessment will take place to determine the appropriate action to be taken.
• By requesting a review, you are providing consent that you agree to the sharing of your personal data for the purposes of progressing your review in accordance with the law and statutory guidance.

The Independant Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) statutory guidance for Complaints and Reviews can be accessed here.

6. COMPLAINTS ABOUT POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER’S SUPPORT STAFF

If your complaint is about an individual member of the Police and Crime Commissioner support staff (other than the Chief Executive), please write to or email the Chief Executive at:

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3QS
Email: spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Telephone: 01473 782773

If your complaint is against the Chief Executive, please write to or email the Police & Crime Commissioner at:

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3QS
Email: spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Telephone: 01473 782773

7. COMPLAINTS ABOUT INDEPENDENT CUSTODY VISITORS

If you wish to complain about the conduct of an Independent Custody Visitor, please
contact the Chief Executive either in writing or by email:

Chief Executive
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3QS
Email: spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Telephone: 01473 782773

8. COMPLAINTS ABOUT MEMBERS OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

If you wish to complain about the conduct of a member of the Audit Committee
please contact the Chief Executive either in writing, by email or by telephone:

Chief Executive
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Police Headquarters
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3QS
Email: spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Telephone: 01473 782773

9. GENERAL INFORMATION: THE OFFICE OF THE PCC COMPLAINTS PROCESS

The PCC can consider the following complaints:
• Complaints about the conduct of the Chief Constable
• Complaints about the conduct of members of staff that work for the Police and Crime Commissioner

For complaints which are the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner, we will ensure that your complaint is recorded within 10 working days and given a reference number. We will try to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible and will write to advise you that the matter has been recorded and explain how we intend to deal with or investigate the matter.

Where your complaint takes longer than 28 days to resolve, you will be kept up to date at least monthly with progress. When you are provided with the outcome of your complaint we will also ensure you are aware if there is an appeals process which is relevant to your complaint.

10. CODE OF ETHICS

The Code of Ethics (PDF, 332KB) published by the College of Policing sets out the principles and standards of behaviour that will promote, reinforce and support the highest standards from everyone who works in policing in England and Wales.

The Code also provides general guidance on how behaviour that does not uphold policing principles or meet expected standards will be handled.