Sunday, August 29, 2010

Police Complaints Commissioner instructs Fife Constabulary to reconsider complaint, praises Strathclyde force for ‘good practice’

Scotland’s Police Complaints Commissioner, Professor John McNeill has instructed Fife Constabulary to reconsider a complaint after an investigation carried out by the Commissioner revealed a failure by Fife Constabulary to investigate one of four complaints made by an applicant.

Complaints handling reviews carried out by the Police Complaints Commissioner can be inspected & downloaded from the PCC-Scotland website here : Complaint Handling Reviews

Media release from the PCC-Scotland :

Commissioner instructs police to reconsider complaint

The Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland, Professor John McNeill, has instructed Fife Constabulary to carry out a reconsideration of a complaint arising from its investigation into alleged offences by the applicant’s son.

The decision follows a complaint handling review carried out by the Commissioner and published this week that revealed a failure by the force to investigate one of four of complaints made by the applicant.

The force must now appoint a person, with no previous involvement in the complaints, to reconsider the complaint and report to the Commissioner.

This is only the third time since the PCCS was established in 2007 that a reconsideration has been directed under section 35(7) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2007.

Professor John McNeill said: “This case serves to show that, when I believe it to be appropriate, I will use the legislation to the fullest. I will shine a light on areas of poor practice as a way of holding the police to account and driving up standards.”

In another case the Commissioner commended Strathclyde Police for its good practice in encouraging the use of mediation between the applicant and her neighbours and for allocating a specific officer as a named point of contact where repeated requests for assistance are made.

Professor McNeill again: “Just as I highlight poor practice, I also believe that where the police demonstrate good practice in complaints handling such as this, it should be acknowledged and others encouraged to adopt a similar approach when the circumstances merit it.”

These cases were part of nine reviews published by the Commissioner this month in which he examined 35 individual complaints from the public about Strathclyde Police, Fife, Northern and Dumfries & Galloway Constabularies.

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