Following the most significant legislative change in complaints in the last 10 years, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has opted to take a greater role in the police complaints process now that it had been reformed to provide a more comprehensive complaint resolution process, moving away from an adversarial process involving punishment and sanctions and towards a regime of learning and service improvement. The PCC has opted to take initial handling of complaints into his office.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduces a number of changes designed to achieve a more customer-focused complaints system and aims to increase the focus on learning and improvement with serious breaches of professional behaviour still being handled by the Professional Standards Department in Hertfordshire Constabulary.
The aim is to change the culture in the police service and allow every staff member to take personal responsibility for continual development and learning and also for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to monitor trends and assist with the implementation of organisational learning.
The enhanced complaints procedure is managed by the Complaint Resolution Team (CRT) in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) who will have first sight and initial contact and handling of all complaints regarding Hertfordshire Constabulary.
CRT will assess and seek views from the complainant on whether a complaint is suitable for service recovery and if so will manage the complaint outside of Schedule 3 of the Police reform Act 2002 which will usually result in a quicker outcome.
Some complaints, due to their nature, will need to be formally recorded within Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and therefore will need to be transferred to the Professional Standards Department in Hertfordshire Constabulary.
This will all be explained to each complainant when complaints are acknowledged.