• July 25, 2010

The Celtic League has asked Council of Europe Police and Prisons monitoring body the CPT to inquire, on its next State Visit to the United Kingdom (Isle of Man), why such a high percentage of complaints against the police remain resolved.

A recent report by the Isle of Man Chief Constable (CC) indicates that 50% of complaints remained unresolved in every year for the past three.

The League point out that whilst the CC cites a reduction in complaints in the most recent report, this could be down to public disenchantment with the ability of the police to take complaints seriously.

The full text of the letter to the CPT is set out below:

“Mr Hugh CHETWYND, Head of Division
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg-Cedex


Dear Sir,

I draw your attention to the attached graph taken from page 41 of the most recent (Chief Constable’s) Annual Report on the Isle of Man Constabulary.

You will note that on a year by year basis a significant percentage (50%) of complaints against the police remain unresolved. It is also unclear, on the basis of the way the graph is compiled, how many complaints remain unresolved at the conclusion of the three year period the graph covers.

It is noted on page 32 of the Chief Constables report:

“Complaints against the Police have fallen by 25% in the last year and a more detailed chart is contained herein. In total, 21 formal complaints were lodged against the Constabulary of which eleven are still ongoing. Of the remaining ten, two were informally resolved, two were withdrawn, two were unsubstantiated and four were substantiated.”

We would advance that it is little wonder that the number of complaints against the police has fallen if the police themselves show such a dilatory attitude to conducting investigations of such complaints.

Obviously, it is difficult to draw comparisons between the comparatively small Isle of Man force and other (essentially) rural police forces in other Celtic countries. However, the other examples we looked at did indicate a much higher percentage of complaints resolution than the Isle of Man Constabulary

We would request that on its next visit to the United Kingdom (Isle of Man) that the CPT raise this issue with the Manx authorities and establish why such a high proportion of complaints against the police remain unresolved for so long.

For information the full text of the Chief Constables report can be found at:


Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt”

CPT Web pages here:


Most recent United Kingdom (Isle of Man) report here:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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