The Complaint Resolution Team (CRT) at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Hertfordshire is committed to providing excellent customer service. As part of the process this office strives to adhere to the guidelines set out by the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) and the Home Office. Under new legislation that came into effect from February 1 2020, we will assess and triage all complaints, relating to an expression of dissatisfaction with Hertfordshire police service. This enables CRT to act as a central point of contact for complaint case handling, and we will help identify any individual or organisational failures, where applicable for future learning.
We focus on providing a quality service by understanding individual needs and providing information and outcomes with the aim of delivering an effective and transparent outcome to the public. Our focus and aim when receiving complaints are as follows:
Handling your complaint/concerns professionally, efficiently, and fairly
Keeping you informed of our progress.
Giving you reasons for our decisions
Treating you with respect.
In the interest of understanding the individual’s experience we have produced and disseminated a survey to gain feedback from all members of the public that have gone through the initial complaint handling process within their final response correspondence. This enables us to determine where we can make improvements and understand the individual’s journey. All feedback is reviewed for future learnings and improvement toward a better police service to the public.
Culture of OPCC CRT
We recruit experienced customer focused complaint handlers from different backgrounds and skills sets to ensure that excellent levels of customer service are adhered to. We aim to provide information that is easy to understand, free from police jargon while keeping an open mind to individual and organisational learning. We aim to improve both our service delivery and enhance the public service of Hertfordshire Constabulary. Our procedures and service level agreements aim to meet and exceed customer needs and expectations. Our performance is measured and monitored not only internally but also through the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) for increased accountability and transparency.
Information and access
We know how important information is to the public with value on its accuracy and detail. From initial contact we will set out the following steps:
Logging you concerns, acknowledging and outlining the issues you have raised and carrying out an action plan to assist in addressing these matters.
We outline the complaint handling process, the action plan to address the concerns and explain how we have reached our conclusion to service recover a dissatisfaction.
We strive to keep complainants fully informed during the process as we appreciate how frustrating it is waiting and not knowing if there has been any progress to address your concerns. We provide information on the complaint process in a clear and concise manner.
In most cases, we acknowledge complaints within 24 hours (one working day) and providing timely updates. We have a five-day chaser and holding policy, so complainants know they are not forgotten.
Upon request CRT also include a simple flow chart overview of the process and provide legislative information as an attachment rather than within the content of the acknowledgement. This helps avoid any confusion with how the complaint will be progressed by CRT. This allows the complainant to be fully informed without being overwhelmed with legal terminology.
Please be advised that if you remain dissatisfied after the initial handling of your complaint, you will still have the right to have your complaint transferred to the Professional Standards Department under the statutory complaints process within Schedule 3 of the Act. Please note, having your complaint transferred to Professional Standards Department does not necessarily guarantee a different outcome. However, in order for us to transfer a complaint to them for you, we require your confirmation in writing with reasons and expectations for the outcome within 28 days of finalising the complaint with the Complaint Resolution Team. You may also have a right to review at the conclusion of the complaint handling process with Professional Standards Department.
Our objective is to meet customer’s expectations, where we can, within a statutory framework and where remit allows to make our processes easy to understand, information to be clear and concise. Customer service aims to be professional, balanced, and polite. We seek opportunity to receive feedback and implement improvements and changes in how we operate where possible.
To assist us achieve our aims we would expect the following from the complainant:
Providing us with a clear idea of the issues and the solution you want.
Giving us all the relevant information, you have (or know about) at the beginning to assist the complaints handler.
Telling us new facts/information or letting us know you no longer want our help.
Cooperating with us
Treating us with respect.
Your patience whilst we assess/handle your complaint.
Timeliness and quality of service
CRT strives to make contact within 24 hours (one working day) of receiving a complaint to ensure we have fully understood the issues, gather as much information as possible to try and determine a suitable resolution in a timely manner. We work hard to provide a timely efficient service as outlined in our performance statistics. We value the feedback from all members of the public in identifying issues that have affected them and try to take their suggestions forward where applicable.