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Police Complaint Reviews

From 1 February 2020, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 places a mandatory requirement upon Police and Crime Commissioners to carry out reviews of police complaints regarding complaints made after this date.

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 and Crime Commissioner 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.

How will my review be carried out?

The Police 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.   In line with the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) statutory guidance the review will not be a reinvestigation of your complaint, but rather to 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/

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 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.

It is important to understand that we will not be reinvestigating your complaint, we can only assess how your complaint was handled.

Following the Government lockdown announced on 23 March 2020, which is enforcing people to stay at home, staff within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and any subsequent contractors such as the independent reviewer, are no longer working from our offices. This will result in a delay in being able to deal with your request for a review.   Once the lockdown is removed and staff are able to resume their work your review will be dealt with as soon as practicable by the independent reviewer.    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. Thank you for your patience during this time and the outcome of your review will be communicated to you in due course.


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 OPCC 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 and Crime Commissioner by:
Email:   commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk
Mail:     1-2 Carleton Hall, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2AU

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