ALBA: Police complaints commissioner concerns

The Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland has expressed concern about the process by which individual complaints are recorded. He said they “may not truly reflect satisfaction levels”.

John McNeill is calling on police chiefs across Scotland to develop guidance on the way complaints are recorded to clarify the process and make sure numbers of complaints are accurate. The current records of complaints do not reveal accurately the number of individual complainants.

The situation was highlighted by a recent case involving Central Scotland Police. A link on the report on this case can be found here:

https://www.pcc-scotland.org/assets/0000/0609/PCCS_-_1003-2010-00702-PF-CSP_-_Final_report.pdf

Arising from the case Complaints Commissioner McNeil has written to the President of Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) requesting that national guidance be developed.

It is probable that the shortcomings in Scottish Police Forces complaint recording processes are replicated in other Police Service areas.

The Scottish Police Complaints Commissioner has a responsibility to ensure that any non-criminal complaints made against the police were handled efficiently and effectively. He does not deal with criminal allegations against the Police.

Statistics published last year showed an increase in the number of complaints compared with previous years (4292 in 2007-8 – 4862 in 2008-9). The Complaints Commissioner believes the increase is a sign of increased confidence in the complaints system.

Related link Scottish Police Complaints Commissioner web site here:

https://www.pcc-scotland.org/

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