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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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Preface First

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Content

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Police complaints Statistics for England and Wales 2021/22 (Experimental statistics)

Contents

 

Introduction

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 and supporting regulations made significant changes to the police complaints and disciplinary systems. These changes were designed to achieve a simpler, more proportionate and customer-focused complaints system focused on learning and improvement. The changes were implemented on 1 February 2020.

New recording guidance was issued alongside changes to complaints legislation to improve how information about complaints is recorded. These changes aim to make complaints data more meaningful.

This report presents figures on complaints about the police in England and Wales for the financial year 2021/22. It presents different data from previous annual complaints reports due to the changes in legislation and recording practice.

A police complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by a member of the public about the service they have received from a police force. Police forces and local policing bodies deal with the majority of complaints themselves. The IOPC sets the standards for complaints handling through its Statutory Guidance 2020.

Statutory Guidance helps local policing bodies and forces achieve high standards in handling complaints about those serving with the police. It also helps them to comply with their legal obligations. The IOPC also oversees the complaints system and investigates the most serious and sensitive cases. It also carries out some reviews of complaints.

The first stage of complaint handling is for the relevant police force or local policing body to decide how it will handle the complaint. The reforms allow for certain types of complaints to be resolved informally, while also allowing more flexibility in the handling of formal complaints. This allows the police to better meet the needs of the complainant, and quickly make improvements based on the complaints they handle.

A person can request a review if they are unhappy with the way their complaint was handled or the final outcome. In some instances, this review will be carried out by the IOPC. Other reviews are handled by local policing bodies (Police and Crime Commissioners and Mayors).

This is the second year of reporting on the changes to the complaints system. Most of the data referred to in this report was recorded on police force IT systems and collected by the IOPC. Police forces updated their systems at different times, and it will take time for those inputting data to develop their understanding. While data have undergone quality assurance checks the statistics remain subject to testing of quality and volitility. Therefore, they should be treated as experimental[1] to acknowledge that they should be interpreted with caution and that further development is currently taking place.

We have given police forces guidance setting out how we expect them to record the data we collect. Therefore, the consistency of the data we report relies on police forces applying our guidance correctly when they record data.

Our guidance on how police forces should record data about complaints under the Police Reform Act 2002 (PRA 2002), as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2017, is on our website www.policeconduct.gov.uk

Findings

Initial handling of complaints and how long it takes

Complaint cases logged

Significant change has been made to the complaints system in this area, widening the definition of a complaint to make the system more accessible. This means many more complaints will now be logged than in previous years.

The definition of a police complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by a member of the public about the service they have received from a police force. All expressions of dissatisfaction must be logged. Some dissatisfaction, which does not meet the criteria for recording a complaint under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002, may be resolved quickly to the satisfaction of the complainant. Other expressions of dissatisfaction must be recorded.

  • In 2021/22, police forces and local policing bodies logged 75,020 complaint cases (table 1).
  • Forces took on average six working days to log complaints from the date the complaint was made (table 3).
  • Most forces (27) logged complaints in five working days or less. Of the 17 forces that took more than five working days, seven had logged more than 1,500 complaints and included the Metropolitan Police Service, Greater Manchester Police and Thames Valley Police.

There are considerable differences in the size of police forces across England and Wales. This impacts the number of complaint cases logged by forces. Direct comparison of the number of complaint cases across forces would not take into account these size variations.

A complaint cases rate per 1,000 police force employees is used to provide a meaningful comparison of complaints logged across forces.

  • In 2021/22, 309 complaint cases per 1,000 employees across all forces were logged (table 2).
  • Complaint case rates per 1,000 employees ranged from 90 in North Yorkshire Police to 697 in Cleveland Police.

 

Time taken to contact the complainant

When handling complaints, the body responsible must contact the complainant and seek their views about how the complaint should be handled. This should happen as soon as possible after the complaint is made.

  • In 2021/22, forces took an average of nine working days from the date the complaint was made to contact the complainant (table 3).
  • The time forces took to contact complainants ranged from an average of one day (Cheshire Constabulary, Northumbria Police and Warwickshire Police) to 44 days in West Midlands Police (table 3).

 

Recording complaints

The new reforms allow for certain complaints to be handled informally. Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002 sets out legal requirements for police complaint handling.

A complaint does not need to be formally recorded under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002 if it can be resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of the complainant. Even if attempts are made to initially handle the complaint outside of the requirements of Schedule 3, it may later be recorded and handled under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002. Information about recording complaints is available in Chapter 6 of our Statutory Guidance (2020).

There are four reasons why a complaint must be recorded under Schedule 3:

  • the complainant wants it to be recorded
  • the nature of the allegation(s) mean it must be recorded
  • the appropriate authority/body responsible for initial handling decides it is appropriate
  • the complainant is dissatisfied following informal handling

 

Reasons complaint cases recorded under Schedule 3 in 2021/22

  • A total of 35,738 complaint cases logged in 2021/22 were subsequently recorded under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002 (table 4).
  • In 41% (14,760) of cases, the body responsible for the initial handling of the complaint decided it should be recorded.
  • Just under a third (32%, 11,459) of complaints were recorded because the complainant wanted it to be recorded.
  • 15% (5,498) of complaint cases were recorded due to the nature of the allegations made.
  • In 11% (4,021) of cases, the complainant was dissatisfied with the informal handling and requested their complaint be recorded.

 

What complaints were about

A complaint case may include one or more allegations. Each allegation is allocated to one of 11 categories and a subcategory if applicable. The purpose of the categories is to capture the root of the dissatisfaction expressed in a complaint.

  • In 2021/22, 120,690 allegations were logged (table 5).
  • The five most commonly logged allegation categories in 2021/22 were:
    • delivery of duties and service
    • police powers, policies and procedures
    • individual behaviours
    • handling of or damage to property/premises
    • discriminatory behaviour

These five categories account for 93% of all allegations logged.

  • The most common allegation was logged under the ‘delivery of duties and service’ category. This category accounted for more than half (53%) of all the allegations logged in 2021/22.

 

Allegations logged in 2021/22 by category.

Who complains and who is subject to complaints

Who makes the complaints

In 2021/22, 69,804 people complained about the police.

  • Most complainants were men (51%, 35,774) (table 8).
  • Where known, most complainants were White (51%, 35,895). It should be noted the ethnicity of 36% (25,219) of complainants was either not stated or unknown (table 9).
  • The most common age groups to complain about the police were those aged 30 to 39 years (21%, 14,464 complainants), closely followed by those aged 40 to 49 years (18%, 12,798). The people who complained least commonly were aged 17 or under. However, caution is advised when looking at the breakdown by age owing to 19% (13,336) of complainants whose age is unknown (table 10).

Who is complained about

In 2021/22, 50,559 people serving with the police were subject to a complaint.

  • 63% (31,939) of those complained about were men and 30% (15,339) were women (table 11).
  • Most people subject to a complaint were White (79%, 40,101). However, caution is advised when looking at the breakdown by ethnicity due to the number of subjects (14%, 7,281) with unknown or not stated ethnicity (table 12).

 

Time taken to informally handle a complaint and the outcomes

Informal complaint handling is an opportunity to address promptly the concerns a complainant has raised. The key consideration is whether a course of action is appropriate and whether it will be an effective response to a complaint.

Allegations finalised

An allegation is considered finalised when the complainant is notified about the outcome of the allegation (a decision) and any planned action.

  • In 2021/22, police forces finalised 43,127 allegations on complaint cases that were handled informally (table 14).
  • On average, these allegations took 21 working days to finalise (table 15).

 

Allegation decisions

Where a complaint case is handled informally, the allegation decision will be ‘resolved’ or ‘not resolved’.

  • In 2021/22, 94% of allegations handled informally were resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant (table 19).

The remaining 6% could not be resolved and will either have been recorded under Schedule 3 or withdrawn by the complainant.

 

Complaint cases finalised

A complaint case is finalised when all actions relating to that case are complete.

In 2021/22, 38,365 complaint cases were finalised informally (table 20).

These complaint cases took an average of 24 working days to finalise (table 21). This is longer than the 21 working days taken to handle allegations as it includes the time to complete all the actions on the case.

 

Actions

Any actions taken in response to the allegation are recorded; multiple actions can be recorded for each allegation.

  • The most common action resulting from complaints handled informally was an explanation. 48% of complaint cases finalised resulted in an explanation being given to the complainant (table 22).
  • 29% of complaint cases finalised informally had at least one allegation resulting in no further action (table 22).
  • Different types of learning can be selected as the outcome of complaints. These are organisational learning and learning from reflection. These amount to 3% of the outcomes. Actions such as providing an apology or conducting a debrief accounted for a further 10%. Therefore, some sort of learning/reflective activity accounted for the outcome in 13% of cases (table 22).

 

Time taken to formally handle a complaint and the outcomes

All complaints recorded formally should be handled in a reasonable and proportionate manner. This may mean:

  • an investigation
  • otherwise responding to concerns raised and seeking to resolve them
  • notifying the complainant that no further action will be taken

 

Allegations finalised

An allegation is considered finalised when the complainant is notified about the outcome of the allegation (a decision) and any planned action.

  • In 2021/22, police forces finalised 74,246 allegations on complaint cases handled formally (table 14).

 

Allegations handled by investigation

If an allegation is investigated, the investigation will fall into one of three types: local, directed or independent. Please see the glossary for an explanation of the different forms of investigation.

If at any time during an investigation, the investigating officer thinks a person complained about may have

  • committed a criminal offence; or
  • behaved in a manner which would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings

the investigation must be certified as subject to special procedures (see explanation of ‘special procedures’ in the glossary).

  • In 2021/22, 24% of the 74,246 allegations handled under Schedule 3 were investigated (table 14).
  • 7% of those (1,359 out of 18,169) were finalised by investigations subject to special procedures (table 16).
  • Of allegations handled formally, the proportion investigated ranged from 2% in Cleveland Police to 92% in Thames Valley Police.
  • Allegations finalised by local investigation took an average of just over six months (134 working days) for forces to complete (table 15).

 

Allegations handled otherwise than by investigation

Most allegations will not need a full investigation to reach a conclusion and a decision.

  • In 2021/22, the majority (76%) of allegations handled formally were finalised otherwise than by investigation (table 14).
  • These allegations took forces four months (84 working days) on average to finalise (table 15).

 

Allegation decisions

Often a complaint case will contain several different allegations. Some may be subject to special procedures and others not. It is possible to handle all allegations in the same way. As such, a complaint case that is investigated subject to special procedures may contain non-special procedures allegations and the decision will reflect this (table 19).

  • It was found there was a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct in 22% of allegations investigated subject to special procedures.
  • 52% of allegations investigated subject to special procedures found no case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct.
  • 4% found that the service provided was not acceptable.
  • The remaining allegations investigated subject to special procedures found that either the service was acceptable, no further action was taken, or the complaint was withdrawn.
  • It was found the service provided was acceptable in almost three quarters (71%) of allegations investigated where special procedures did not apply.
  • The service provided was acceptable in the majority (67%) of the allegations finalised formally that were not investigated.

 

Complaint cases finalised

A complaint case is considered finalised when all actions relating to that case are complete. This includes:

  • the time during which an application to review can be made
  • the time it takes to deal with a review
  • the time it takes for actions resulting from a recommendation or direction, made either following an investigation or consideration of a review, to be completed
  • the time for the actions arising from a reflective practice review process (RPRP) meeting to be communicated to the complainant or their representative
  • the time it takes for misconduct and/or criminal proceedings to conclude
  • the time for initial outcomes of unsatisfactory performance procedures to be decided

A total of 33,602 complaint cases were finalised formally in 2021/22 (table 20).

  • It took an average of 108 working days to finalise complaint cases formally in 2021/22 (table 21).
  • The average time forces took to finalise complaint cases formally ranged from 54 in City of London Police and Humberside Police to 191 working days in North Yorkshire Police (table 21).

 

Actions

  • Of the 33,602 complaint cases handled formally in 2021/22, just under half (48%) had at least one allegation resulting in no further action being taken (table 23).
  • 68 complaint cases that were handled formally and subject to a special procedures investigation had at least one allegation resulting in either misconduct meeting or hearing (table 23).
  • 12% of complaint cases had at least one allegation resulting in learning for either the individual or the police force (table 23).
  • 3% (1,003) of complaint cases handled formally had at least one allegation resulting in a referral to RPRP (table 23).
  • 6% of complaint cases had at least one allegation resulting in an apology or debrief taking place (table 23).
  • 37% of complaint cases had at least one allegation resulting in an explanation being provided (table 23).

 

Reviews

The complainant has a right to apply for a review where a complaint has been recorded under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002. They can apply for a review if they are unhappy with the way their complaint was handled, or with the final outcome.

The application for review will be considered by the local policing body or the IOPC. The relevant review body depends on the circumstances of the complaint. The relevant review body will look at whether the handling and the outcome of the complaint was reasonable and proportionate.

There is no right of review against a complaint handled informally outside of Schedule 3. The complainant can request the complaint be recorded and handled formally if they are not satisfied with the outcome given to them. This will bring it inside the scope of Schedule 3 and, when the complaint is finalised, the complainant will get a right of review to the relevant review body.

 

Local policing body (LPB) reviews

In 2021/22, LPBs received 5,030 applications from complainants requesting a review of how their complaint had been handled or its final outcome. This is an increase of 16% compared to the number received in 2020/21 (table 24).

  • The number of reviews LPBs received following complaints that had not been investigated was 4,456.
  • The number of reviews received following complaints that had been investigated was 574.

 

Outcome of LPB reviews

  • In 2021/22, 15% of reviews about complaints that were not investigated found the complaint outcome was not reasonable and proportionate (table 25).
  • The proportion of non-investigation reviews that found the outcome was not reasonable and proportionate varied considerably across police forces from 0% in two forces to 73% in Warwickshire Police (table 25).
  • 27% (184 out of 689) of the investigation reviews completed by LPBs found the complaint outcome was not reasonable and proportionate.
  • LPBs for nine forces completed ten or more reviews of police force investigations (table 25).
  • Nineteen LPBs completed no investigation reviews.

 

IOPC reviews

In 2021/22, the IOPC received 1,605 applications to review complaints dealt with by police forces, an increase of 66% on 2020/21 (table 26).

  • In 2021/22, the IOPC received 817 applications to review complaints not investigated by police forces.
  • The number of reviews received following complaints that had been investigated was 788.

 

Outcome of IOPC reviews

  • In 2021/22, the IOPC found the outcome in 37% of complaints that had not been investigated was not reasonable and proportionate (table 27).
  • 31% (182 out of 592) of the investigation reviews completed by the IOPC found the complaint outcome was not reasonable and proportionate (table 27).

 

Discussion

Number of complaints and what is complained about

Compared to last year, the number of complaints logged fluctuates across forces and there was a small increase nationally.

The largest proportion of complaints relate to ‘delivery of duties and service’. This covers police action after contact with the public and the general level of service the police offer. This might include complaints about an ongoing criminal investigation, the time it took for police to attend an incident or lack of updates in relation to a reported matter. There has been a 21% rise in complaints that police forces categorise as service level complaints which largely accounts for the national increase in complaint numbers.

There has been a 40% increase in the number of complaints finalised. This is due to pre-February 2020 cases not being included in last year’s data so there were fewer complaints carried over.

 

Who complains and who is subject to the complaints

Eighty four % of complaints made relate to police officers, which is as expected considering the amount of contact they have with the public. The next largest group complained about is police staff at 9%.

There are still considerable gaps in recording demographic data for complainants as well as those being complained about. More data has been collected about the ethnicity of complainants than last year, with ethnicity data (including prefer not to say) for 69% of complainants as opposed to 61%. There has been no improvement for information on the ethnicity of those being complained about.

Merseyside, Cleveland and Thames Valley all have ethnicity data for more than 80% of complainants, while North Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Nottinghamshire have improved the most in this area. West Yorkshire captures ethnicity data for practically all subjects of complaints while South Wales have seen significant improvements in the collection of this data.

It is positive to see that improvements can be made but the changes are not as wholescale as we had hoped to see in this area. It is vital this data is collected in order to draw meaningful insights and address any disproportionality within the system. We will continue to work with other oversight bodies and police forces to improve the quality of this data.

 

Handling and outcomes of complaints

Once a complaint is made, it is important that the complainant is contacted so that the complaint can be understood fully. Contact with the complainant was made, on average, within nine days of the complaint being made; this is two days longer than the average last year and is an area where service could potentially be improved.

Notably, there were five forces who more than halved the number of days taken to contact complainants: Northumbria, Surrey, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Hertfordshire. This is through a range of initiatives, including having specific customer service focussed members of staff to contact complainants.

 

Informal handling and outcomes

Complaints that are handled informally should be dealt with flexibly, focussing on customer service. These complaints should be dealt with quickly – usually within days rather than weeks.

Cases took an average of 24 days to complete. This is one day quicker than the average from last year. South Wales, Northumbria, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire all complete these cases within eight days. Dyfed-Powys, South Yorkshire, Merseyside and the Metropolitan Police Service have all significantly improved their timeliness in this area.

The most common outcome was that complainants were offered an explanation. There was also a significant increase in the number of apologies given. The numbers of learning outcomes from these complaints are still small. Given the volume of cases, it is likely there are more opportunities to learn and improve the service to the public from this type of complaint.

 

Formal handling and outcomes

Of those cases handled formally, 24% were subject to formal investigations. This has increased from 13% last year, most likely due to complaints that were started last year and finalised this year. It took forces an average of 134 days to complete a complaint investigation - an increase of 28 days. This figure will fluctuate over time as older cases are closed that have not featured in this data set. It is notable this is still quicker than investigations completed under the old complaints system.

The remaining 76% of cases handled formally did not require a full investigation to reach a conclusion and outcomes. These cases should be handled more quickly and flexibly. They took on average 84 days to complete - an increase of 27 days. Notable exceptions to the increase are South Yorkshire, Northumbria and Hertfordshire.

Of those cases completed in 2021/22, proceedings were held for 68 compared to 18 the year before, although this number has increased it still means that less than 1% of cases resulted in misconduct proceedings. Only 3% of cases were referred to RPRP, although there was an increase in the other reflective learning outcomes.

No further action is still the most common outcome of formally recorded complaints. We have run workshops focussing on this and have seen a significant reduction in both the volume and proportion of complaints using this as a response (17% in the volume and 9% in the proportion). In many cases, we have found actions have been taken but have been incorrectly flagged as no further action. We continue to advise on this and hope to see a further reduction next year. The number of cases where an explanation or apology have been given have increased dramatically, around double the previous year’s volumes for both. This is an increase of 14% in the proportion of explanations and a 1% increase in the proportion of apologies. This gives a more tangible outcome to complainants.

 

Reviews

A complainant can request a review if they are not satisfied with how their complaint was handled. The nature of the complaint determines whether the review should be handled by the local policing body or the IOPC. There has been a 25% rise in demand for reviews for both the local policing body and the IOPC, although the rise is more significant for the IOPC (66% for IOPC compared to 16% for local policing bodies). This is likely to be because of the work done around the test which determines who should carry out a review. We have run workshops with professional standards departments and local policing bodies and given individual assistance in relation to the test so there is increased understanding in this area.

Local policing bodies have seen a noticeable drop in the number of investigation reviews they are receiving. As the most serious complaints are investigated, it is right that the majority of these reviews are completed by the IOPC.

Local policing bodies have upheld 27% of reviews for investigated complaints and 15% for non-investigated complaints, while the IOPC have upheld 31% investigated and 37% not investigated.

 

Conclusion

There has not been dramatic changes from this year and last year, although there are minor statistical differences between years, particularly at individual force levels. We are seeing changes as a result of the inputs we have given, notably around the review body test and no further action. We expect to see further changes as this understanding is embedded.

We are giving further guidance around handling discrimination complaints and, separately, using reflective practice as part of complaints handling. We believe this new guidance will bring improved understanding and outcomes in these areas in the future.

 

Data considerations

This report only presents information about complaints handled under the new regime implemented 1 February 2020 and 4 January 2021 for the British Transport Police.

Hampshire Constabulary only started capturing information about complaints handled outside of Schedule 3 from February 2021.

The flexibility in the new system means there will be different ways to handle complaints in a reasonable and proportionate manner. Some forces will choose to handle matters in a different way to other forces.

In 2020/21, we were unable to report on complaints handled outside of Schedule 3 to the PRA 2002 by Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary due to technical issues. These issues have been resolved since the publication of police complaints information bulletins for Quarter 4 2021/22. Therefore, figures presented in this report for these forces may differ from the previously published data. Most similar force averages for forces which have Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire or Hertfordshire in their group will also differ from previously published data.

Figures for City of London include complaints about Action Fraud. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. The service is run by the City of London Police, which is the national policing lead for economic crime.

 

Statistical notes

  • In the percentage columns presented in the following tables, ‘-’ denotes no data and ‘0’ denotes less than 0.5%.
  • Some percentages may add up to more or less than 100% due to rounding.
  • Average times are presented as working days and do not include weekends or bank holidays.
  • Complaint cases and allegations with invalid start/end dates have been removed from average time calculations. Therefore, the numbers of complaint cases and allegations used in the average time calculations may be lower than the total number of complaint cases and allegations finalised.

 

Data tables

 

Table 1: Number of complaint cases logged in 2021/22

Police forceNumber of complaint cases
Avon and Somerset2,156
Bedfordshire1,048
British Transport843
Cambridgeshire1,384
Cheshire1,908
City of London588
Cleveland1,690
Cumbria798
Derbyshire1,314
Devon and Cornwall1,981
Dorset934
Durham890
Dyfed-Powys901
Essex1,952
Gloucestershire1,142
Greater Manchester2,491
Gwent616
Hampshire3,844
Hertfordshire1,188
Humberside1,241
Kent1,393
Lancashire1,582
Leicestershire932
Lincolnshire1,111
Merseyside2,336
Metropolitan7,216
Norfolk470
North Wales510
North Yorkshire282
Northamptonshire820
Northumbria3,393
Nottinghamshire1,171
South Wales2,252
South Yorkshire1,692
Staffordshire1,508
Suffolk372
Surrey2,494
Sussex2,080
Thames Valley3,512
Warwickshire733
West Mercia1,388
West Midlands4,418
West Yorkshire3,323
Wiltshire1,123
Total75,020

Please note, the figures for City of London include complaint cases logged in relation to ‘Action Fraud’. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. The service is run by the City of London Police, which is the national policing lead for economic crime.

 

Table 2: Number of complaint cases logged per 1,000 employees in 2021/22

Police forceNumber of complaint casesNumber of employees*Complaint cases per 1,000 employees
Avon and Somerset2,1566,721321
Bedfordshire1,0482,598403
British Transport8435,039167
Cambridgeshire1,3842,763501
Cheshire1,9084,042472
City of London5881,443407
Cleveland1,6902,426697
Cumbria7982,062387
Derbyshire1,3143,701355
Devon and Cornwall1,9816,443307
Dorset9342,919320
Durham8902,359377
Dyfed-Powys9012,190411
Essex1,9526,367307
Gloucestershire1,1422,590441
Greater Manchester2,49111,682213
Gwent6162,356261
Hampshire3,8445,568690
Hertfordshire1,1884,203283
Humberside1,2413,747331
Kent1,3937,410188
Lancashire1,5826,079260
Leicestershire9324,198222
Lincolnshire1,1111,913581
Merseyside2,3366,657351
Metropolitan7,21646,669155
Norfolk4703,236145
North Wales5102,953173
North Yorkshire2823,12290
Northamptonshire8202,622313
Northumbria3,3935,528614
Nottinghamshire1,1713,775310
South Wales2,2526,075371
South Yorkshire1,6925,320318
Staffordshire1,5083,579421
Suffolk3722,543146
Surrey2,4944,269584
Sussex2,0805,692365
Thames Valley3,5128,840397
Warwickshire7332,009365
West Mercia1,3884,342320
West Midlands4,41811,929370
West Yorkshire3,32310,313322
Wiltshire1,1232,453458
Total75,020242,745309

* Number of employees is taken from the Home Office publication Police Workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2021.

 

Table 3: Time taken to log complaints and contact complainants in 2021/22

Police forceAverage days to log complaintsAverage number of days to contact complainants
Avon and Somerset35
Bedfordshire63
British Transport67
Cambridgeshire32
Cheshire21
City of London36
Cleveland110
Cumbria28
Derbyshire56
Devon and Cornwall2119
Dorset34
Durham138
Dyfed-Powys35
Essex159
Gloucestershire76
Greater Manchester65
Gwent198
Hampshire26
Hertfordshire82
Humberside23
Kent1714
Lancashire111
Leicestershire45
Lincolnshire82
Merseyside49
Metropolitan99
Norfolk310
North Wales26
North Yorkshire195
Northamptonshire22
Northumbria01
Nottinghamshire33
South Wales34
South Yorkshire57
Staffordshire65
Suffolk310
Surrey22
Sussex75
Thames Valley817
Warwickshire21
West Mercia89
West Midlands244
West Yorkshire515
Wiltshire33
Total69

 

Table 4: Reasons complaint cases recorded under Schedule 3 in 2021/22

Police forceNature of allegation(s)Body responsible for initial handling decidesComplainant wishes the complaint to be recordedDissatisfaction after initial handlingTotal recorded under Schedule 3
N%N%N%N%
Avon and Somerset4763752941230186251,297
Bedfordshire10734140452274514314
British Transport3719904623124724197
Cambridgeshire1052614637451110226398
Cheshire881240256701015221712
City of London1077153974433134
Cleveland41843095349534278
Cumbria11039102362694215280
Derbyshire183159282153718432576
Devon and Cornwall969814766968681,065
Dorset529542899171610
Durham5221178649534280
Dyfed-Powys4711249608120369413
Essex301,174928771111,275
Gloucestershire1433717454116112500
Greater Manchester1207760418434611861,841
Gwent146125165752913220
Hampshire9713208272282924031773
Hertfordshire185438520491111526434
Humberside401611,08198001,101
Kent3052472756333228181,293
Lancashire8411279351672126834798
Leicestershire16622565773041738
Lincolnshire91314443865430712
Merseyside735019552114556257
Metropolitan54391,907333,274573915,763
Norfolk1038122241653610368
North Wales1726638154116114262
North Yorkshire1971375054206223272
Northamptonshire101269525109288021385
Northumbria531477674143710491,125
Nottinghamshire44656983568203689
South Wales5363913310661483831,368
South Yorkshire27292168343256151,352
Staffordshire10525191462369423413
Suffolk41622120170228289
Surrey49784123615023532729
Sussex25275171192264251,059
Thames Valley22199351848439051,953
Warwickshire5026361979412815193
West Mercia14411431203553510366
West Midlands20230114171191724636681
West Yorkshire8446286615511266201,351
Wiltshire376481773567111624
Total5,4981514,7604111,459324,0211135,738

 

Table 5: Number of allegations logged in 2021/22

Police forceNumber of allegationsNumber of employees*Allegations per 1,000 employees
Avon and Somerset3,9246,721584
Bedfordshire1,5542,598598
British Transport1,0465,039208
Cambridgeshire2,0382,763738
Cheshire2,6944,042667
City of London6801,443471
Cleveland2,1922,426904
Cumbria1,2642,062613
Derbyshire2,4043,701650
Devon and Cornwall2,6986,443419
Dorset1,1462,919393
Durham1,1962,359507
Dyfed-Powys1,0752,190491
Essex4,2416,367666
Gloucestershire2,2442,590866
Greater Manchester3,98311,682341
Gwent1,3852,356588
Hampshire5,1365,568922
Hertfordshire2,1264,203506
Humberside1,9343,747516
Kent3,2187,410434
Lancashire2,1486,079353
Leicestershire1,9704,198469
Lincolnshire1,4161,913740
Merseyside3,2096,657482
Metropolitan15,73346,669337
Norfolk1,2753,236394
North Wales1,0842,953367
North Yorkshire8743,122280
Northamptonshire1,3292,622507
Northumbria4,4175,528799
Nottinghamshire2,7633,775732
South Wales3,5196,075579
South Yorkshire2,6805,320504
Staffordshire2,1483,579600
Suffolk1,0152,543399
Surrey3,7504,269878
Sussex3,3505,692589
Thames Valley5,5028,840622
Warwickshire8602,009428
West Mercia1,7774,342409
West Midlands5,56711,929467
West Yorkshire4,41010,313428
Wiltshire1,7162,453700
Total120,690242,745497

Please note, the figures for City of London include allegations logged in relation to ‘Action Fraud’. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. The service is run by the City of London Police, which is the national policing lead for economic crime.

* Number of employees is taken from Home Office publication Police Workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2021.

 

Table 6: Number of allegations logged - what has been complained about in 2021/22

Police forceDeliveryof dutiesand servicePolicepowers, policies and proceduresHandling of or damage to property/ premisesAccessand/or disclosure of informationUse ofpolicevehiclesDiscriminatory behaviourAbuse of position/ corruptionIndividual behavioursSexualconductDiscreditable conductOtherTotal*
Avon and Somerset1,94972210210847192138619132953,924
Bedfordshire752374783815562018307311,554
British Transport2412181216103153236111731,046
Cambridgeshire993392694916462941921852,038
Cheshire1,486488947246555937511532,694
City of London531624689836079680
Cleveland998503101623318844921172,192
Cumbria571270503226271423556281,264
Derbyshire1,240443634324522443608712,404
Devon and Cornwall1,4716209158354628292416372,698
Dorset52720642361330102634691,146
Durham634238353022311015900371,196
Dyfed-Powys6051804228241811143113101,075
Essex2,297685136784423991626199174,241
Gloucestershire1,078462834249493341004342,244
Greater Manchester2,0137481828626198466111934203,983
Gwent7552231729220431825101,385
Hampshire2,8901,181149977013631507621485,136
Hertfordshire1,0123751024712502947631912,126
Humberside1,0313425148254466273810361,934
Kent1,5917773813112204742671171063,218
Lancashire1,342306374613423424031842,148
Leicestershire83340774452484534405321,970
Lincolnshire80022645482318112342181,416
Merseyside1,43885215448575626412941533,209
Metropolitan7,7584,146414283966291241,715418544215,733
Norfolk4872805742449383054901,275
North Wales5151602947828751987891,084
North Yorkshire3702602412101313160237874
Northamptonshire678292333914572203371,328
Northumbria2,2058181991244789937551120544,415
Nottinghamshire2,006404483419602290723502,763
South Wales1,6846621428355117796441618193,519
South Yorkshire1,655493912819671927602302,680
Staffordshire1,16045348322831163578872,148
Suffolk3832433829943312381001,015
Surrey2,536545122756481212361125343,750
Sussex1,66884893592355652366633,350
Thames Valley3,18585719013754164577111350845,502
Warwickshire482144282619911311811860
West Mercia9353435946284812239132341,777
West Midlands3,513830151975716960577724825,567
West Yorkshire2,44294516310960243862991323274,410
Wiltshire7683648143214416346220111,716
Total63,50824,3873,8612,6681,2983,7351,63816,7662796221,925120,687

*The number of allegations logged presented in this table are only those with a category recorded. Therefore they may not match the actual number of allegations logged presented in Table 5.

 

Table 7: Number of allegations logged - what has been complained about and subcategories in 2021/22

Allegation categoryAllegation subcategoryN% of total allegations logged
Delivery of duties and servicePolice action following contact28,04023
Decisions8,4097
General level of service21,44418
Information5,6145
No subcategory recorded10
Police powers, policies and proceduresStops, and stop and search1,7241
Searches of premises and seizure of property3,1133
Power to arrest and detain3,7183
Detention in police custody3,1833
Bail, identification and interview procedures8381
Use of force7,1056
Evidential procedures1,5171
Out of court disposals3060
Other policies and procedures2,8812
No subcategory recorded20
Handling of or damage to property/ premisesHandling of or damage to property/premises3,8613
Access and/or disclosure of informationUse of police systems1810
Disclosure of information1,8552
Handling of information5430
Accessing and handling of information from other sources890
Use of police vehiclesUse of police vehicles1,2981
Discriminatory behaviourAge470
Disability5550
Gender reassignment290
Marriage and civil partnership30
Pregnancy and maternity20
Race2,2212
Religion or belief920
Sex4010
Sexual orientation1030
Other2810
No subcategory recorded10
Abuse of position/corruptionAbuse of position for financial purpose520
Abuse of position for sexual purpose860
Abuse of position for the purpose of pursuing an inappropriate emotional relationship380
Abuse of position for other purpose5430
Obstruction of justice7561
Organisational corruption1620
No subcategory recorded10
Individual behavioursUnprofessional attitude and disrespect4,9054
Lack of fairness and impartiality2,5282
Overbearing or harassing behaviours2,9452
Impolite language / tone4,3354
Impolite and intolerant actions2,0532
Sexual conductSexual assault1900
Sexual harassment250
Other sexual conduct640
Discreditable conductDiscreditable conduct6221
OtherOther1,9252
Total allegations 120,687100

The number of allegations logged presented in this table are only those with a category recorded. Therefore they may not match the actual number of allegations logged presented in Table 5.

 

Table 8: Gender of complainants in 2021/22

GenderN%
Female28,65741
Male35,77451
Other1360
Prefer not to say8131
Unknown4,4246
Total69,804100

 

Table 9: Ethnicity of complainants in 2021/22

EthnicityN%
White35,89551
Black2,9034
Asian3,7975
Mixed1,4992
Other4911
Prefer not to say3,5465
Not stated20,54029
Unknown1,1332
Total69,804100

 

Table 10: Age of complainants in 2021/22

Age groupN%
17 or under1,0001
18-2910,42515
30-3914,46421
40-4912,79818
50-5910,76115
60+7,02010
Unknown13,33619
Total69,804100

Tables 8 to 10: Complainants are only counted once in these tables regardless of how many complaints they have made throughout the year.

Table 10: Complainant’s age data for allegations handled outside of Schedule 3 by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire is not available in 2021/22.

 

Table 11: Gender of those subject to a complaint in 2021/22

GenderN%
Female15,33930
Male31,93963
Other90
Prefer not to say60
Unknown3,2666
Total50,559100

 

Table 12: Ethnicity of those subject to a complaint in 2021/22

EthnicityN%
White40,10179
Black7551
Asian1,7153
Mixed6361
Other710
Prefer not to say2480
Not stated4,0048
Unknown3,0296
Total50,559100

Tables 11 and 12: Subjects are only counted once in these tables, regardless of how many complaints they have been subject to in the year.

 

Table 13: Rank of those subject to a complaint in 2021/22

RankN%
Police officer ranks42,95584
Police staff including traffic wardens4,3709
Community support officers1,1882
Contracted staff4921
Special constables5461
Unknown1,6913
Total51,242100

Table 13: The total number of subjects will not match the figures in tables 11 and 12. This is because people subject to more than one complaint in the year may have held different ranks at the time each allegation was logged. In such cases they will be counted more than once (for each rank).

 

Table 14: Means by which allegations were finalised in 2021/22

Police forceOutside of Schedule 3Under Schedule 3 - not investigatedUnder Schedule 3 - investigatedTotal
N%N%N%
Avon and Somerset977292,2286619163,396
Bedfordshire8035039124418261,612
British Transport573621111224626930
Cambridgeshire1,0785550726373191,958
Cheshire1,260481,2054613652,601
City of London501789315457639
Cleveland1,42268642311612,080
Cumbria68159413366251,156
Derbyshire845401,1295314872,122
Devon and Cornwall1,137361,7375529193,165
Dorset33031673627471,077
Durham6405148438138111,262
Dyfed-Powys47143567516561,103
Essex782202,18857860223,830
Gloucestershire818391,193576532,076
Greater Manchester734192,66269488133,884
Gwent5884243531391281,414
Hampshire3,236641,5453127855,059
Hertfordshire1,0304168027781312,491
Humberside14171,719888741,947
Kent25882,14769701233,106
Lancashire824371,3045910152,229
Leicestershire234121,4997917091,903
Lincolnshire39229845649271,329
Merseyside2,199689232811843,240
Metropolitan1,5411010,194663,6172415,352
Norfolk1911966865168161,027
North Wales24623761717061,077
North Yorkshire1024376819230639
Northamptonshire4473276254209151,418
Northumbria2,39252458101,744384,594
Nottinghamshire853311,52956365132,747
South Wales1,028292,2486423173,507
South Yorkshire317151,733826832,118
Staffordshire1,01655739409251,847
Suffolk164205306314417838
Surrey1,852481,6694431483,835
Sussex1,067302,1766129883,541
Thames Valley1,7123326253,168625,142
Warwickshire4906434424132765
West Mercia1,216654932615381,862
West Midlands4,037771,0832112725,247
West Yorkshire2,012462,0474733484,393
Wiltshire5823293451299161,815
Total43,1273756,0774818,16915117,373

 

Table 15: Time taken to finalise allegations in 2021/22

Police forceAverage number of days to finalise allegations outside of Schedule 3Average number of days to finalise allegations - not investigated under Schedule 3Average number of days to finalise allegations - by local investigation under Schedule 3
Avon and Somerset1059155
Bedfordshire3168139
British Transport164375
Cambridgeshire1853134
Cheshire1047145
City of London86674
Cleveland22104189
Cumbria126295
Derbyshire673115
Devon and Cornwall45100202
Dorset3058150
Durham1269180
Dyfed-Powys768118
Essex4073111
Gloucestershire1776122
Greater Manchester1082221
Gwent1796155
Hampshire1081133
Hertfordshire1353149
Humberside1034154
Kent5363120
Lancashire14115209
Leicestershire1841125
Lincolnshire1058118
Merseyside15144205
Metropolitan30128171
Norfolk4294151
North Wales126680
North Yorkshire1587112
Northamptonshire13107186
Northumbria44598
Nottinghamshire125282
South Wales370134
South Yorkshire1337134
Staffordshire1770129
Suffolk4989152
Surrey1687141
Sussex3658148
Thames Valley1213893
Warwickshire4612196
West Mercia42103147
West Midlands53119240
West Yorkshire6101131
Wiltshire3191175
Total2184134

Only allegations with valid dates are used in the calculation for the average number of days to finalise allegations.

 

Table 16: Allegations finalised by investigation under Schedule 3 in 2021/22

Police forceInvestigated (not subject to special procedures)Investigated (subject to special procedures)
N%N%
Avon and Somerset156823518
Bedfordshire40296164
British Transport219892711
Cambridgeshire36297113
Cheshire123901310
City of London4510000
Cleveland1610000
Cumbria50811219
Derbyshire1439753
Devon and Cornwall27996124
Dorset689268
Durham12792118
Dyfed-Powys6510000
Essex83797233
Gloucestershire43662234
Greater Manchester3797810922
Gwent36293297
Hampshire2709783
Hertfordshire73494476
Humberside60692731
Kent67797243
Lancashire939288
Leicestershire136803420
Lincolnshire879555
Merseyside1169822
Metropolitan3,1218649614
Norfolk1619674
North Wales7010000
North Yorkshire1849684
Northamptonshire173833617
Northumbria1,71598292
Nottinghamshire317874813
South Wales209902210
South Yorkshire28414059
Staffordshire899733
Suffolk1389664
Surrey268854615
Sussex239805920
Thames Valley3,14999191
Warwickshire2379842
West Mercia1519921
West Midlands109861814
West Yorkshire30491309
Wiltshire29910000
Total16,810931,3597

 

Table 17: Nature of allegations finalised outside of Schedule 3 in 2021/22

Allegation categoryAllegation subcategoryN% of total allegations finalised outside of Schedule 3
Delivery of duties and servicePolice action following contact12,66429
Decisions3,4358
General level of service9,37622
Information2,1225
No subcategory recorded00
Police powers, policies and proceduresStops, and stop and search5021
Searches of premises and seizure of property1,0903
Power to arrest and detain6712
Detention in police custody2981
Bail, identification and interview procedures1600
Use of force8372
Evidential procedures3021
Out of court disposals1480
Other policies and procedures1,1693
No subcategory recorded20
Handling of or damage to property/premisesHandling of or damage to property/premises1,8654
Access and/or disclosure of informationUse of police systems340
Disclosure of information3831
Handling of information1280
Accessing and handling of information from other sources170
Use of police vehiclesUse of police vehicles7442
Discriminatory behaviourAge80
Disability580
Gender reassignment40
Marriage and civil partnership10
Race2591
Religion or belief110
Sex400
Sexual orientation290
Other390
No subcategory recorded10
Abuse of position/corruptionAbuse of position for financial purpose20
Abuse of position for sexual purpose70
Abuse of position for the purpose of pursuing an inappropriate emotional relationship30
Abuse of position for other purpose530
Obstruction of justice170
Organisational corruption160
Individual behavioursUnprofessional attitude and disrespect1,6304
Lack of fairness and impartiality6431
Overbearing or harassing behaviours7382
Impolite language / tone1,8574
Impolite and intolerant actions6932
Sexual conductSexual assault130
Sexual harassment30
Other sexual conduct70
Discreditable conductDiscreditable conduct890
OtherOther9592
Total allegations 43,127100

 

Table 18: Nature of allegations finalised under Schedule 3 by how they were handled in 2021/22

Allegation categoryAllegation subcategoryNot investigatedTotal investigatedTotal number of allegations finalised under Schedule 3
N% of totalnumber finalisedunder Schedule 3N% of totalnumber finalisedunder Schedule 3
Delivery of duties and servicePolice action following contact12,012832,3841714,396
Decisions3,89682850184,746
General level of service8,919802,2132011,132
Information2,78284524163,306
No subcategory recorded2100002
Police powers, policies and proceduresStops, and stop and search85165454351,305
Searches of premises and seizure of property1,45175485251,936
Power to arrest and detain1,99369900312,893
Detention in police custody2,03471839292,873
Bail, identification and interview procedures4747714523619
Use of force75173279271,030
Evidential procedures3,553592,461416,014
Out of court disposals138832817166
Other policies and procedures1,22673453271,679
No subcategory recorded00000
Handling of or damage to property/premisesHandling of or damage to property/premises1,49275504251,996
Access and/or disclosure of informationUse of police systems82527648158
Disclosure of information1,04871429291,477
Handling of information3207311827438
Accessing and handling of information from other sources4867243372
Use of police vehiclesUse of police vehicles412829018502
Discriminatory behaviourAge257492634
Disability3006416936469
Gender reassignment167362722
Marriage and civil partnership3100003
Pregnancy and maternity3100003
Race1,26664708361,974
Religion or belief3551344969
Sex2146710433318
Sexual orientation5173192770
Other175726928244
Abuse of position/corruptionAbuse of position for financial purpose3162193850
Abuse of position for sexual purpose1638266242
Abuse of position for the purpose of pursuing an inappropriate emotional relationship842115819
Abuse of position for other purpose2545917841432
Obstruction of justice5177417726694
Organisational corruption109763524144
Individual behavioursUnprofessional attitude and disrespect2,31072903283,213
Lack of fairness and impartiality1,44076451241,891
Overbearing or harassing behaviours1,70473617272,321
Impolite language / tone2,03484391162,425
Impolite and intolerant actions1,07574375261,450
Sexual conductSexual assault66487252138
Sexual harassment116563517
Other sexual conduct2047235343
Discreditable conductDiscreditable conduct2044425756461
OtherOther7057425426959
Total allegations56,0767618,1692474,245

 

Table 19: Decisions on allegations by how they were handled in 2021/22

Allegation decisionOutside of Schedule 3Under Schedule 3 – not investigatedUnder Schedule 3 – investigated (not subject to special procedures)Under Schedule 3 – investigated (subject to special procedures)
N%N%N%N%
Not resolved2,6726      
Resolved40,44994      
Service provided - acceptable  37,7336711,9127122416
Service provided - not acceptable  6,916121,72410584
Service provided - unable to determine  2,87257885232
No further action  6,063111,74610201
Withdrawal  2,30645253363
Regulation 41 applies  1850114100
No case to answer      70452
Case to answer      29422
Total 43,12110056,07510016,8091001,359100

The number of allegations presented in this table may not match the totals in Table 14. This is due to a small number of finalised allegations which had recorded decisions incompatible with the way they were handled. These have been excluded from the totals.

 

Table 20: Number of complaint cases finalised in 2021/22

Police forceOutside of Schedule 3Under Schedule 3Total number of complaint cases
NNN
Avon and Somerset8391,0991,938
Bedfordshire7963311,127
British Transport568174742
Cambridgeshire9183771,295
Cheshire1,1977081,905
City of London428111539
Cleveland1,2143121,526
Cumbria528219747
Derbyshire7144641,178
Devon and Cornwall8155451,360
Dorset310561871
Durham605348953
Dyfed-Powys481367848
Essex6331,2001,833
Gloucestershire6134691,082
Greater Manchester6441,8662,510
Gwent397239636
Hampshire3,0918303,921
Hertfordshire7454981,243
Humberside1341,1511,285
Kent3601,3881,748
Lancashire7315201,251
Leicestershire191705896
Lincolnshire3906861,076
Merseyside2,1492862,435
Metropolitan1,3625,1526,514
Norfolk113308421
North Wales246255501
North Yorkshire10227237
Northamptonshire436387823
Northumbria22141,1963,410
Nottinghamshire5136091,122
South Wales8791,4142,293
South Yorkshire2851,0821,367
Staffordshire8703771,247
Suffolk87244331
Surrey1,7556982,453
Sussex1,0181,1712,189
Thames Valley1,5811,9213,502
Warwickshire452184636
West Mercia9843791,363
West Midlands3,6026644,266
West Yorkshire1,9601,1753,135
Wiltshire5077051,212
Total38,36533,60271,967

 

Table 21: Time taken to finalise complaint cases in 2021/22

Police forceNumber of valid complaint cases finalised outside of Schedule 3*Average number of days to finalise outside of Schedule 3Number of valid complaint cases finalised under Schedule 3*Average number of days to finalise under Schedule 3 (inc suspension)Average number of days to finalise under Schedule 3 (exc suspension)
Avon and Somerset839101,0998583
Bedfordshire79632331123120
British Transport568191748783
Cambridgeshire91818377105100
Cheshire1,194137086661
City of London428101115447
Cleveland1,21440312144121
Cumbria528142196966
Derbyshire7148464104104
Devon and Cornwall81556545151144
Dorset310355618573
Durham605143487569
Dyfed-Powys48193679490
Essex633401,200120115
Gloucestershire6131646910387
Greater Manchester644101,8669694
Gwent39716239132129
Hampshire3,09198308280
Hertfordshire74513498118114
Humberside134101,1515449
Kent360641,3888784
Lancashire73116520123117
Leicestershire191187057974
Lincolnshire390126869896
Merseyside2,14916286156138
Metropolitan1,359295,152158157
Norfolk11351308124106
North Wales246132557270
North Yorkshire1020227191190
Northamptonshire43614387136127
Northumbria2,20741,196105102
Nottinghamshire513136096858
South Wales87941,4147977
South Yorkshire285181,0826766
Staffordshire870243779288
Suffolk8751244118100
Surrey1,755176988582
Sussex1,018381,1718781
Thames Valley1,581131,921108102
Warwickshire45257184121114
West Mercia98450379141135
West Midlands3,60265664150148
West Yorkshire1,96071,175133125
Wiltshire50737705103102
Total38,3522433,602108104

*The number of complaint cases presented in this table are only those with valid dates that are used in the calculation for the average number of days to finalise complaint cases. Therefore they may not match the actual number of complaint cases finalised presented in Table 20.

 

Table 22: Actions on complaint cases handled outside of Schedule 3 in 2021/22

ActionNumberAs a % of complaint cases finalised
Organisational learning1690
Learning from reflection1,1363
Policy/procedure review310
Goodwill gesture1350
Apology3,3129
Debrief of original incident5621
Explanation provided18,48148
No further action11,15729

Actions are captured at allegation level and multiple actions can be selected on a single allegation. The figures in the table are based on complaint cases finalised in the year with at least one allegation that resulted in the corresponding action.

Not all of the available actions arising from the complaint handling are shown. The actions presented in the table are those that focus on putting the issue right and preventing it from happening again.

 

Table 23: Actions on complaint cases handled under Schedule 3 in 2021/22

ActionNumberAs a % of complaint cases finalised
Organisational learning5882
Learning from reflection3,48010
Policy/procedure review410
Goodwill gesture140
Apology1,7375
Debrief of original incident2591
Explanation provided12,35037
Referral to RPRP1,0033
Unsatisfactory Performance Procedure (UPP)140
Misconduct proceedings680
Other actions following a case to answer decision200
Criminal proceedings0-
Other action5172
No further action15,96548

Actions are captured at allegation level and multiple actions can be selected on a single allegation. The figures in the table are based on complaint cases finalised in the year with at least one allegation that resulted in the corresponding action.

Not all of the available actions arising from the complaint handling are shown. The actions presented in the table are those that focus on putting the issue right and preventing it from happening again.

 

Table 24: Applications for a review received by LPBs in 2021/22

Police forceLPB reviews – not investigatedLPB reviews - investigationTotal LPB reviews received
N%N%N
Avon and Somerset452216278207
Bedfordshire391000039
British Transport732156822
Cambridgeshire401000040
Cheshire82991183
City of London2671333
Cleveland78991179
Cumbria571000057
Derbyshire611000061
Devon and Cornwall127881812145
Dorset999733102
Durham671000067
Dyfed-Powys591000059
Essex13810000138
Gloucestershire471000047
Greater Manchester29110000291
Gwent2861183946
Hampshire15010000150
Hertfordshire64981265
Humberside10010000100
Kent22910000229
Lancashire991000099
Leicestershire931000093
Lincolnshire441000044
Merseyside52915957
Metropolitan5918015220743
Norfolk53981254
North Wales35971336
North Yorkshire3761243961
Northamptonshire73972375
Northumbria43309970142
Nottinghamshire1269911127
South Wales1119565117
South Yorkshire1419921143
Staffordshire55981256
Suffolk29971330
Surrey1339911134
Sussex2209763226
Thames Valley30510010306
Warwickshire1028267236
West Mercia82802020102
West Midlands85982287
West Yorkshire1599832162
Wiltshire701000070
Total4,45689574115,030

 

Table 25: Outcome of reviews completed by LPBs in 2021/22

Police forceLPB reviews – not investigatedLPB reviews - investigation
Valid completedOutcome not reasonable and proportionateOutcome not reasonable and proportionateValid completedOutcome not reasonable and proportionateOutcome not reasonable and proportionate
NN%NN%
Avon and Somerset384111674527
Bedfordshire31000--
British Transport524013215
Cambridgeshire33260--
Cheshire9566100
City of London41250--
Cleveland8312140--
Cumbria58472150
Derbyshire459200--
Devon and Cornwall111252316531
Dorset981010400
Durham6846100
Dyfed-Powys317230--
Essex1482416100
Gloucestershire4713280--
Greater Manchester22141190--
Gwent312621314
Hampshire14616110--
Hertfordshire5724100
Humberside9514150--
Kent17324140--
Lancashire100110--
Leicestershire86670--
Lincolnshire4214330--
Merseyside5113254250
Metropolitan33150152706424
Norfolk425120--
North Wales31516400
North Yorkshire13754281761
Northamptonshire749122150
Northumbria4110241033130
Nottinghamshire13230232150
South Wales11617157114
South Yorkshire124000--
Staffordshire7468100
Suffolk24280--
Surrey11011100--
Sussex20422113133
Thames Valley30470232150
Warwickshire1187319526
West Mercia686910110
West Midlands851922300
West Yorkshire15329194375
Wiltshire6015250--
Total38945771568918427

Some caution is advised when looking at the percentage of reviews that found the complaint case outcome was not reasonable and proportionate due to the sometimes small number of reviews involved.

 

Table 26: Applications for a review received by the IOPC in 2021/22

Police forceIOPC reviews – not investigatedIOPC reviews - investigationTotal
N%N%N
Avon and Somerset1452134827
Bedfordshire25369538
British Transport0021002
Cambridgeshire28249226
Cheshire307982138
City of London1332673
Cleveland0021002
Cumbria3602405
Derbyshire22088010
Devon and Cornwall116173918
Dorset3434577
Durham211168918
Dyfed-Powys156583523
Essex2632556881
Gloucestershire4504508
Greater Manchester2651254951
Gwent0041004
Hampshire3776122449
Hertfordshire48479251
Humberside3474122646
Kent3351324965
Lancashire348371741
Leicestershire2158154236
Lincolnshire136283821
Merseyside227192931
Metropolitan1364218958325
Norfolk1761113928
North Wales35923838
North Yorkshire1253754
Northamptonshire106753315
Northumbria27258375110
Nottinghamshire314188621
South Wales6673242790
South Yorkshire85085016
Staffordshire1148125223
Suffolk135994122
Surrey146773321
Sussex0051005
Thames Valley1146867
Warwickshire0031003
West Mercia0011001
West Midlands348751339
West Yorkshire80733027110
Wiltshire228541526
Total81751788491605

 

Table 27: Outcome of reviews completed by the IOPC in 2021/22

Police forceIOPC reviews – not investigatedIOPC reviews - investigation
Valid completedOutcome not reasonable and proportionateOutcome not reasonable and proportionateValid completedOutcome not reasonable and proportionateOutcome not reasonable and proportionate
 NN%NN%
Avon and Somerset91111119
Bedfordshire10037514
British Transport0--0--
Cambridgeshire20018739
Cheshire1952612325
City of London10011100
Cleveland0--0--
Cumbria0--100
Derbyshire1008113
Devon and Cornwall4375200
Dorset44100300
Durham20015427
Dyfed-Powys115453267
Essex14857321134
Gloucestershire32672150
Greater Manchester16127521943
Gwent0--2150
Hampshire3519548225
Hertfordshire30032619
Humberside21104811218
Kent1852822523
Lancashire2814506467
Leicestershire133237343
Lincolnshire72296233
Merseyside71145240
Metropolitan7523311526442
Norfolk104407114
North Wales289322150
North Yorkshire1003133
Northamptonshire92224250
Northumbria17529611423
Nottinghamshire10012217
South Wales43133010330
South Yorkshire331009222
Staffordshire5005120
Suffolk114369333
Surrey134318450
Sussex0--500
Thames Valley0--200
Warwickshire0--100
West Mercia0--100
West Midlands3267100
West Yorkshire531936331133
Wiltshire135382150
Total5041873759218231

Some reviews may be deemed ‘invalid’ and these have been excluded from the number of “valid completed” and the calculation for “% outcome not reasonable and proportionate”.

Some caution is advised when looking at the percentage of reviews that found the complaint case outcome was not reasonable and proportionate due to the sometimes small number of reviews involved.

 

Glossary

Allegation

This describes what is being complained about. An allegation is made by someone defined as a complainant under the Police Reform Act 2002 (see ‘complainant’). An allegation may be made by one or more complainants about the service they received from a police force. For example, about force-wide crime initiatives, organisation of policing resources, or general policing standards. However, it can also be about the conduct of any person serving with the police. A complaint case may involve more than one allegation. For example, a person may allege that an officer pushedi and was rude to them. This would be logged as two separate allegations forming one complaint case. Each allegation is logged against a specific category (a full list of the allegation categories and their definitions can be found in the IOPC’s guidance on capturing data about police complaints).

Appropriate authority

(Section 29, Police Reform Act 2002)

The organisation responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example, whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the police and crime commissioner for the force. If a complaint investigation finds someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.

Complainant

A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police or about a police force. The law sets out the circumstances that need to exist for someone to make a complaint (see section 5.6 of the IOPC Statutory guidance on the police complaints system).

Complaint

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction raised by or on behalf of a member of the public to a police force. A complaint does not have to be made in writing and does not have to state explicitly that it is a complaint.

Complaint case

A complaint may involve more than one allegation. The allegation/s may be made by one or more complainants, against one or more persons serving with the police. ‘Complaint case’ refers to all the allegations and complainants connected with a complaint.

Directed investigation

An investigation conducted by the appropriate authority under the direction and control of the IOPC. The IOPC directs the investigation by appointing an investigator and setting out its scope and investigative strategy. The IOPC controls the investigation by reviewing the policy books, confirming the investigation has met the terms of reference and making the decisions at the end of the case.

Independent investigation

An investigation carried out by IOPC staff (Paragraph 19, Schedule 3, Police Reform Act 2002).

An independent investigation is often used for the most serious incidents and/or those with the greatest public interest. For example, incidents that cause the greatest level of public concern, have a high potential to impact on communities, or have serious implications for the reputation of the police service.

Local investigation

An investigation carried out by the appropriate authority on its own behalf (Paragraph 16, Schedule 3, Police Reform Act 2002).

Local policing body

The body responsible for all policing in their area. It holds the chief constable and the force to account. This is a collective term for:

  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (for the Metropolitan Police Service district)
  • the Common Council (for the City of London police area) (Section 101, Police Act 1996)

 

Reflective practice review process (RPRP)

This focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn from them. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.

Review

Where a complaint has been recorded under Schedule 3 to the Police Reform Act 2002, the complainant has a right to apply for a review of the outcome of the complaint. The review will consider whether the outcome of the handling of the complaint is reasonable and proportionate. It will uphold the review where the relevant review body finds that the outcome of the complaint is not reasonable and proportionate. This applies whether the complaint has been investigated or handled in another way.

Special procedures

Special procedures only apply to investigations of complaints about a member of a police force or a special constable. In the case of any other person, the investigator must adhere to the relevant policies and procedures for investigating allegations of any form of misconduct.

Investigators must apply special procedures:

  • in a complaint investigation, when there is an indication a person being investigated may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings
  • in all investigations into recordable conduct matters (Paragraph 19A, Schedule 3, Police Reform Act 2002)

 

Unsatisfactory performance procedure (UPP)

A series of steps used to improve someone’s performance. It is used when a person was unable or failed to perform their role to a satisfactory level but did not breach the Standards of Professional Behaviour.


(1)The Office for National Statistics describes these as ‘a series of statistics that are in a testing phase and not yet fully developed.’

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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