Skip to content

The Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for Cumbria (OPFCC) takes all complaints seriously. A complaint can be made by anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly either by;

  • Chief Police Officers (for example the Chief Constable)
  • Police officers
  • Police staff
  • Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
  • Deputy Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
  • Chief Fire Officer, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service
  • Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner staff
  • The service provided
  • A decision or policy

The OPFCC is responsible for investigating complaints about the Chief Constable, Chief Fire Officer, the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner, any appointed Deputy Commissioner, the Office of Cumbria Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner’s own staff and Independent Custody Visitors. By law the OPFCC is not allowed to investigate complaints about police officers under the rank of Chief Constable, or members of police staff working for the Chief Constable.

Complaints Policy

Our complaints policy will explain how to make complaints and what help is available to enable you to make a complaint. We will explain the Office the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s role with regard to complaints and what to do if you are not happy with how your complaint was handled.

Communicating with You

We will be polite, professional and treat you with respect. We understand that people who contact us might sometimes be frustrated or angry and we are committed to providing a fair and accessible service to all. Nonetheless, we have a responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of our staff and we will not accept abusive, aggressive or threatening behaviour.

You can reach the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4.00pm on Fridays (not including public holidays). We aim to acknowledge email enquiries within five working days. Phone messages will normally be returned by within two working days. We do not operate a face-to-face service and will contact you by phone or in writing. We only accept visitors to our offices who have a pre-arranged appointment.

To manage our work effectively and provide a fair service to all, it might be necessary for us to limit the way we communicate with individuals and the frequency of contact. This only applies in certain circumstances. Find out more in our Managing Service User Contact Policy.

Information relating to the number of complaints and conduct matters considered by the Commissioner are reported to the Ethics and Integrity Panel on a six month basis. This information can be viewed here.

Complaints regarding the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner are considered by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel. This information can be viewed on the Panel’s website or here.

Holding the Constabulary to Account

The Commissioner has a statutory responsibility to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the complaints system locally, and for ensuring there are processes in place to scrutinise, support and challenge the overall performance of the Force, to monitor complaints and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of officers and staff. The police complaints system has recently been the subject of significant reform which sets out principles of accessibility, reasonable and proportionate handling and learning and improvement; all vital factors in ensuring both public confidence and the ongoing development of a robust, effective and efficient complaints system.

The Ethics and Integrity Panel perform a scrutiny function on behalf of the Commissioner in relation to complaint handling. They also carry out dip samples of finalised complaint files twice a year providing quality assurance, monitoring and to assist in the improvement of the quality of the Constabulary’s responses to complaints. Further information on their role, meetings and findings can be found on the Ethics & Integrity Panel page of this website.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) produce quarterly complaints data for all police forces in England and Wales and annual statistics. These can be viewed on the IOPC website.

How to complain about the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner / Deputy Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner

As a representative of the local community, the Commissioner signs up to a Code of Conduct. The Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner also signs up to the code of conduct. The responsibility for considering complaints that the Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner may have breached their Code of Conduct sits with the Police, Fire & Crime Panel. This panel is made up of representatives from district councils and the county council, including two independent members. If you want to make a complaint about the conduct of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner or Deputy Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner you must submit your complaint in writing to:

The Monitoring Officer
Westmorland and Furness Council
Tel: 0300 373 3300
Website: Contact us | Westmorland and Furness Council

Following the initial assessment by the monitoring officer of a complaint it will then, if appropriate, be forwarded to the Police, Fire & Crime Panel. A quarterly report is provided to the panel meetings detailing complaints which have been received and how they have been dealt with. To view complaints regarding the Commissioner /Deputy Commissioner which the panel have considered click here.
If you wish to find out more information you can view the Police, Fire and Crime Panel website http://cumbriapcp.org.uk.

How to complain about a member of staff of Cumbria Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner (OPFCC)?

While the OPFCC’s staff are not representatives of the community, they are still expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct. If you are dissatisfied with the service you have been provided with by a member of staff you can lodge a complaint. You can view the staff complaints procedure to enable you to understand the process. Complaints should be made to:

Chief Executive
Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
1-2 Carleton Hall,
Penrith
Cumbria, CA10 2AU.
Email: commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk
Tel: 01768 217734

How to complain about the Chief Constable?

The Commissioner is responsible for investigating complaints against the Chief Constable. All complaints must be made in writing to the following address:

Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
Carleton Hall
Penrith
Cumbria CA10 2AU
or by e-mail to commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk

How to complain about the Deputy Chief Constable or Assistant Chief Constables?

The Chief Constable is responsible for investigating complaints against the Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable. All complaints must be made either in writing to the following address:

Professional Standards Department
Cumbria Constabulary
Carleton Hall
Penrith
Cumbria CA10 2AU
Telephone: 101 (Police non-emergency number)
or by Email to: PSDAdmin@cumbria.police.uk

How to complain about a Police Officer, Special Constable, PCSO and/or Constabulary Staff?

The Police Complaints system is overseen by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and governed by the Police Reform Act 2002. You can visit the IOPC website for further information. Alternatively you can contact them as follows:

Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
(Telephone: 0300 020 0096 (press 2 at prompt)

If you wish to make a complaint about the conduct or behaviour of a police officer, a police community support officer, a member of police staff or a special constable, then you can do so either by writing to the address below, telephoning or e-mailing them.

Professional Standards Department
Cumbria Constabulary
Carleton Hall
Penrith
Cumbria CA10 2AU
Telephone: 101 (Police non-emergency number)
or by Email: PSDAdmin@cumbria.police.uk

Alternatively you can make your complaint to the IOPC. They will consider the issues that you raise and depending on the nature of the issues they may investigate the matter or direct the complaint to the relevant force for them to deal with. Further information regarding how to make a complaint to the IOPC can be found here

How to complain about an Independent Custody Visitor?

The Commissioner operates an Independent Custody Visiting Scheme which is delivered by volunteers. Independent Custody Visitors make random, unannounced visits to police stations to check on the welfare of detainees in police custody. On appointment they agree to abide by a Code of Conduct and they have a separate complaints policy.

If you want to make a complaint about an Independent Custody Visitor, please do so by contacting:
The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme Administrator
Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
Carleton Hall
Penrith
Cumbria CA10 2AU
Telephone: 01768 217734 or by e-mail to commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk .

You can view the Independent Custody Visiting Complaints Policy by clicking here.

In this policy we will explain how to make complaints and what help is available to enable you to make a complaint. We will explain the Office of Cumbria Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner’s role with regard to complaints and what to do if you are not happy with how your complaint was handled.

How to make a compliment?

If you would like to contact the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner regarding a compliment please do so using the below contact details:

Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
Carleton Hall
Penrith
Cumbria CA10 2AU
Telephone: 01768 217734 or e-mail to commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk

How to make a complaint about the Chief Fire Officer

The Commissioner is responsible for investigating complaints against the Chief Fire Officer. All complaints must be made in writing to the following address:

Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
Carleton Hall
Penrith
Cumbria CA10 2AU
or by e-mail to commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk

How to make a complaint about a member of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

If you wish to make a complaint about the conduct or behaviour of a fire fighter or a member of staff of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, then you can do so by writing to the address below:

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Service Headquarters
Carleton Avenue
Penrith
CA10 2FA