Holding the Chief Constable to Account
When a member of the public feels that something has gone wrong or that the service they’ve received from Cleveland Police has fallen short of the mark, it’s really important that they’re able to raise their concerns.
The complainant can raise this in the first instance with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC.) Then, if it is not resolved by the PCC’s Resolution Team, the issue will go to Cleveland Police.
This gives the police an opportunity to put things right for the complainant. It also provides valuable learning that can drive improvements to service delivery. Improvements may be across the organisation or in relation to the performance of individual officers and staff. The complainant may simply require an explanation, which they can understand, or an apology. They may simply want an opportunity to speak to somebody who can get to the heart of their complaint.
The PCC holds the Chief Constable to account for providing a complaints’ handling service that is effective, efficient, fair and accessible to everyone.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) oversees the complaints’ system in England and Wales. The IOPC collects data from all police forces.
The data looks at what type of complaints are received, how long it takes the police to look into what has gone wrong and the outcome of the complaint.
Each year, the IOPC publishes statistics about the complaints that forces have recorded. They also produce quarterly performance data for all police forces.IOPC quarterly complaints statistics for Cleveland Police IOPC annual police complaints statistics
Regular oversight of reliable complaints data enables the PCC to hold the Chief Constable to account. That means he can make sure that the force handles complaints in an effective and efficient way, which provides learning and helps to drive improvement. The force’s Department of Standards and Ethics (DSE) undertakes that service with delegated authority from the Chief Constable.
How is complainant satisfaction measured?
We understand that any complainant is, by definition, dissatisfied with some aspect of the service, which they have received. It can therefore be challenging to measure complainant satisfaction objectively.
Closely monitoring the number of review requests against formally recorded complaints gives a reasonable indication of the number of complainants who still feel dissatisfied after the handling of their complaint has concluded. From that measure, we can take a broad indication of the percentage of complainants who have felt satisfied with the handling and outcome of their complaint.
At the time of publication, of the 2,538 complaints formally logged by Cleveland Police in 2021/22, the PCC has received 68 valid requests for their complaint outcome to be reviewed. They are cases where the complainant has not felt they needed to exercise their right to review. This equates to a current complainant satisfaction rate of 98%.