Reforms to how police complaint reviews are handled
The Home Office has reformed the way reviews of police complaints (formerly called appeals) are dealt with. From the beginning of February 2020, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have taken on extra responsibilities for reviewing how complaints were dealt with, where the complainant is not happy with the outcome. This change applies for complaints that were first recorded after February 1st 2020.
The reason for this change, is to make sure that reviews are completely impartial and carried out by an independent body, providing greater reassurance for the public. Previously, complaint reviews were carried out within the police force itself.
The change is also designed to ensure that complaints can be dealt with quickly, effectively and proportionately, not just for the benefit of the public but also for the police.
What is a complaint review?
A complaint review is an appraisal of how the original complaint was dealt with by the police. A review will not mean that the complaint itself is reinvestigated. This is not within the PCC’s remit. Our role is to ensure that the process and outcome provided by the police is reasonable and proportionate. Following an appraisal of complaint handling, we’ll always let you know if the review has been upheld or not.
How do I appeal the outcome of a complaint?
Please note: the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office can only review a complaint against West Mercia Police if it has already been investigated by West Mercia Police’s Professional Standards Department (PSD).
Once West Mercia Police have finalised your complaint, they will write to you to let you know the outcome . This correspondence will confirm whether the PCC is the relevant review body and will include information on how to submit a request for a review, should you wish, and when you need to do it by. You have the right to ask for a review within 28 days of receiving the outcome of your complaint.
Some reviews will not be undertaken by the PCC if they are not the relevant legal review body. If the PCC is identified as the relevant review body you can submit a review to the PCC by filling in the form below.
How will my review be handled by the PCC?
The PCC and their office work on behalf of the public, not the police. They are independent of the police force, but will have full access to your original complaint file and all associated documentation.
We will acknowledge receipt of your review and may request additional information. We will aim to provide you with a progress update at least every 28 days.
Your review form and supporting documents will be shared with an independent and qualified external body which assesses reviews on our behalf. The external body does not make the final decision, but provides us with observations and recommendation to consider. Once your review has been assessed, an appropriate officer within the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office will make the final decision on the outcome, and if necessary, any recommendations to the force. Our recommendations may or may not be accepted by West Mercia Police. You will be informed of the outcome of your review in writing.
All review forms should be sent to: [email protected]
Or by post to:
Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office
If you do not have access to a computer, you can phone us on 01905 331 656 to discuss your review.
For more information, please visit https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/complaints-and-appeals