How do I contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner with negative feedback about Cleveland Police?
Telephone: 01642 301860 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm)
Letter. Please send correspondence to: Resolution Team, c/o St Marks House, St Marks Court, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees. TS17 6QW.
I did not submit my dissatisfaction directly to the Resolution Team. What will happen to it?
If you have written to Cleveland Police, its Department of Standards and Ethics (DSE) or called 101 to complain, your complaint will be re-directed to the Commissioner’s Resolution Team automatically. You do not need to do anything further.
The Resolution Team will assess its suitability for ‘service recovery’ – this means we will aim to resolve your complaint through customer service, without the need to record a formal complaint.
If it is more a serious matter then it will automatically be investigated by Cleveland Police and formally recorded under Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002.
What kind of complaints does the Resolution Team deal with as part of service recovery?
We aim for every expression of dissatisfaction will be logged and dealt with to the complainant’s satisfaction.
In the first instance, we will resolve your complaint via ‘service recovery’, with a view to resolve your complaint through customer service, without the need to record a formal complaint.
Service recovery can take different forms. We aim to resolve your complaint via the following methods:
- Providing good customer service;
- Giving information or explanations;
- Providing updates on outstanding matters;
- Answering any questions you may have;
- Organising return of property;
- Offering an apology for poor service;
- Confirming the steps that have been taken to prevent an error re-occurring;
- Signposting you to the appropriate process, for example, Victim’s Right to Review; and,
- Logging your concerns for consideration when a policy or procedure is next due for review.
Please note, if your complaint is handled via service recovery:
- You will not have the right to have your complaint reviewed;
- You can ask for the matter to be recorded as a formal complaint at any time;
- If service recovery proves unsuccessful, the matter must be recorded and transferred to Cleveland Police for investigation; and,
- If unsatisfactory performance or practice requiring improvement is identified, the matter should be discussed with Cleveland Police, recorded and transferred to them for investigation.
What kind of complaints do Cleveland Police deal with as part of a more formal complaints’ assessment?
Some matters must be passed directly to Cleveland Policefor assessment and if necessary, investigation.
This is because the allegations are of such a severity, that handling them outside of police regulations is not appropriate.
These rules apply in the following cases:
- Cases where unsatisfactory performance or practice requiring improvement is identified;
- You allege that conduct – or another matter – in the complaint has resulted in death or serious injury;
- There is an allegation that police conduct could constitute a criminal offence or justify bringing disciplinary proceedings (for written warning or above) if proved;
- The conduct – or other matter in the complaint – might have involved the infringement of a person’s rights under Articles 2 or 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
- The complaint may require referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and,
- The Appropriate Authority (AA) believes it is appropriate to record it.
These criteria must be assessed based on the allegations made an, not on their apparent merit.
How will I know if the Resolution Team has received my complaint?
You will receive an automatic email and a follow-up telephone call within two working days of submission of your complaint.
How will I know who is the single point of contact, dealing with my complaint?
The person who contacts you about your complaint will be your single point of contact. They will tell you their name and contact details.
When can I expect to be contacted by the person/s dealing with my complaint?
You will receive a telephone call within two working days of making your complaint.
How long will it take for my complaint to be dealt with?
Where practicable, the Resolution Team will try to complete and close service recovery within 28 days.
Does the OPCC have a policy on acceptable behaviour?
When dealing with complaints, OPCC staff will aim to put things right for people who make a genuine complaint. However, a very small number of complainants can take up a disproportionate amount of time and resources.
Unreasonable and unreasonably persistent behaviour can be characterised by the following:
- Obsessive, persistent, harassing, prolific, repetitious and/or otherwise unreasonable actions.
- Continuing to pursue unjustifiable complaints or correspondence and/or unrealistic outcomes.
- Insisting on pursuing justifiable complaints or correspondence in an unreasonable manner – or being uncooperative with staff trying to resolve them.
Sometimes this behaviour can move from being unreasonable and persistent to unacceptable. This will not be tolerated by the OPCC.More on our Service User Contact Policy
What is the national guidance on police complaints?
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has a duty to secure and maintain public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales.
It must ensure that the system is efficient and effective.
The IOPC aims to improve public confidence in policing by ensuring the police are accountable for their actions and learn lessons from the past.
The guidance is one of the ways in which the IOPC helps local policing bodies – like the OPCC – and forces achieve high standards.
It aims to inspire high standards in complaints’ handling, police conduct and matters involving death and serious injury (DSI). In addition, it seeks to help serving officers and police authorities to comply with their legal obligations.Read the IOPC’s statutory guidance here
What can I do if I am unhappy about the outcome or the way in which the Resolution Team has handled my complaint?
National guidance states that complaints dealt with outside by the Resolution Team must be handled with a view to resolving them to the complainant’s satisfaction.
However, if the Resolution Team can’t resolve the complaint, there is a right to have the complaint formally recorded.
If this happens, Cleveland Police will consider the next steps and whether the complaint is suitable to be investigated by them in a reasonable and proportionate way.
If you are unhappy with the staff or service from the Resolution Team, your concerns will examined under complaints about OPCC staff.Make a complaint about the Commissioner's staff
What can I do if I am unhappy about the outcome or the way in which Cleveland Police has handled my complaint?
The Commissioner’s Office is the review body for complaints handled by Cleveland Police inside Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act.
Reviews will be conducted by an independent adjudicator, who has had not previous involvement in yur complaint and who does not work for Cleveland Police.
The review will not take a fresh look at your complaint. However it will assess whether your complaint was handled appropriately.Request to have your complaint reviewed
If I am still unhappy with the process or outcome, can I take my complaint to another organisation to be investigated?
When your complaint has been reviewed, all decisions made by the Independent Adjudicator are final. There is no right of appeal against their decision.
Decisions can only be overturned by a judicial review process in the courts. This must be progressed within three months of the decision.
As a result, you may wish to seek independent legal advice if you intend to pursue this course of action.
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Standards and Scrutiny Manager on reviews@Cleveland.pnn.police.uk.
Does the OPCC deal with compensation claims?
No. The Resolution Team’s remit does not cover claims for compensation from the police.
If you want to pursue a financial claim against Cleveland Police, you should contact their Legal Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for more information or to seek legal advice.
Why did new laws (the Policing and Crime Act 2017 and Police Complaint and Misconduct Regulations 2020) ask PCCs to take a greater role in handling complaints?
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 and Police Complaint and Misconduct Regulations 2020 made significant changes to the police complaints and disciplinary system.
They introduced changes aimed at getting a more customer-focused complaints system.
Why is the Commissioner’s Office taking a greater role in dealing with public dissatisfaction with the service?
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner feels there are a number of benefits in doing so.
- Dealing more effectively and efficiently with complaints
- Swiftly resolving some lower level complaints via good customer service
- Improving public confidence in the process by giving a third party (the OPCC) responsibility for dealing with most police complaints
- Re-assuring the public that the police plan to address all complaints properly
- Allowing staff to track and analyse any trends from feedback so the force can take a more strategic approach to staff training and improving performance
- Providing a single point of contact for complainants and making the process more customer-focussed.
- Improving staff engagement with the public.
What information do you need to handle my complaint?
Our privacy notice sets out some general guidelines on what information is usually required to deal with any complaint or query. (Currently policy is draft only!)Read our Privacy Notice