Police Complaint Reviews
From 1 February 2020, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 placed a mandatory requirement upon Local Policing Bodies to carry out reviews of the outcome of police complaints when requested by a complainant. The Act allows for the Local Policing Body to choose from three models, Cumbria Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has chosen Model 1, which is to carry out complaint reviews only. The Chief Executive has been designated as the appropriate authority for dealing with complaint reviews for the OPFCC.
To understand the role of the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in relation to complaint reviews we have developed an information sheet.
Who can request a review?
If you are unhappy with the outcome or handling of your complaint, then you can submit a request for a review. It is important that you request a review to the correct organisation. The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) can only deal with complaints where they have been identified as the relevant review body. You should have been advised of this in the outcome letter of your complaint. A document detailing frequently asked questions on the review process is available for you.
How will my review be carried out?
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria has taken the decision to use an independent review officer to carry out reviews of complaints to ensure openness and transparency. The Appropriate Authority function for dealing with complaint reviews within the OPCC is delegated to the Chief Executive. In line with the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) statutory guidance the review will not be a reinvestigation of your complaint, but rather consider if the outcome that was given to you was reasonable and proportionate. Further information and a copy of the statutory guidance can be found on the IOPC’s website – https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/. Details of the different steps within a complaint review are detailed within our Complaint Review Procedure.
What happens after making a review request?
Once we receive your request for a review, we will check with Cumbria Constabulary to confirm we are the relevant review body. If we are not the correct review body, we will forward your review request to the correct organisation and inform you that we have done this.
If we are the relevant review body, we will acknowledge your request for a review in writing and let you know the next steps. You should provide us with any relevant information about your complaint, and your reasons for seeking a review, when submitting your request.
To consider your review we will contact Cumbria Constabulary and ask them to provide any information they have about your complaint and how it was dealt with. Once we have received all of the information, the independent review officer will assess your complaint and make a decision. This decision will be communicated to you in writing, along with a clear and evidence-based rationale.
Chapter 18 of the IOPC Statutory Guidance deals with Reviews and does not place a time limit within which the review should be carried out. The outcome of your review will be communicated to you as soon as possible.
What could the outcomes of the review be?
If a review is upheld, it means that the service the police provided did not reach the standard a reasonable person could expect.
Where this is the case the independent review officer will make recommendations for Cumbria Constabulary with a view to remedying the dissatisfaction expressed in your complaint.
If a review is not upheld, it means that the service the police provided was of a standard that a reasonable person could expect.
The standards of police service that are considered when dealing with complaints include:
- the Standards of Professional Behaviour (or equivalent for police staff)
- any agreed service standards
- any national guidance that applies
Request a review:
Please use the review request form if you are unhappy about the outcome of your complaint. You should include a copy of your outcome letter and any supporting information you have to assist us with the review.
The OPFCC must receive your request for a review within 28 days from the day after the date stated on your outcome letter. By completing this form you are giving us permission to access your complaint case to carry out the review.
The form should be sent to:
The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner by:
Mail: 1-2 Carleton Hall, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2AU
Complaint Review Privacy Notice:
Details of what will happen to your information when you request a review can be found in our Police Complaint Reviews Privacy Notice.
The Ethics and Integrity Panel perform a scrutiny function in relation to complaint review handling. They also carry out dip samples twice a year of finalised complaint review files providing quality assurance, monitoring and assist to improve the quality of the OPCC’s responses to complaint reviews. Further information on their role, meetings and findings can be found on the Ethics and Integrity Panel page of this website.