Direction & Control complaint

Dear Ms Buttery

I wish to register with the OPCC a complaint against South Yorkshire Police that I believe falls into the Direction & Control category.

The complaint relates to the handling of complaints by South Yorkshire Police and focuses on the policies and procedures used to support the complaints process. In addition I will use live examples of where the complaints process fails to align to Legislation.

The procedure.

South Yorkshire Police have in place a procedure known by the reference number D50241. South Yorkshire Police have confirmed on a number of occasions both verbally and in writing during 2014 that this is the current procedure that is used.

The procedure was last updated on the 9th Dec 2011 and was due for review 9th Dec 2013, according to it’s footnote.

As you are aware, there were vast changes made to the various items of legislation that came into force in Nov 2012 one of which of course was the creation of the PCC role.

One of the major changes from Nov 2012 was that more complaints would now be handled using Local Resolution and the subsequent appeals being handled within the force. Assigning a complaint to the Local Resolution track also no longer requires the complainants consent, although the IPCC encourages consent to be obtained within it’s statutory guidance and many other publications.

South Yorkshire Polices procedure D50241 still states that consent is required for Local Resolution. Page 4 states ‘The complainant must understand the procedure and give TRUE consent (i.e. informed consent)’

South Yorkshire Polices website http://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/complaints/how-make-complaint under the section ‘So what is local resolution?’ states that ‘You will be asked to give your consent to the use of local resolution and once this has been given we will agree an action plan with you aimed at resolving your complaint as quickly as possible’

local_res_syp

Live examples.

 Below is an extract from an appeal decision letter received from Mr Richard Goulding, Appeal Authority for South Yorkshire Police.

As you can see from the bulletpoints, Mr Goulding appears to indicate that informed consent is required for a complaint to be handled by Local Resolution.local_res_syp_a

However, Mr Goulding then goes on to contradict his opening statements by stating (correctly) that Local Resolution does not require the complainants consent.

local_res_syp_b

As an aside, the PCC’s own procedure appears to fall foul of the same ‘consent required / not required’ mistake. On the OPCC website, there is an FOI response from Sep 2014 under the reference FOIA-971. Page 22 opens with the phrase ‘The Local Resolution process requires the complainant’s express consent and they must be involved in formulating an action plan to bring about resolution.’

The complaint was allocated a reference number by SYPCC on 28/11/14. They have subsequently transferred the complaint to South Yorkshire Police as of 12th Dec.

On the 6th Jan 2015 I received a letter from DS Mann, Head of PSD, informing me that my complaint had been recorded and the following actions taken. 20150106_DC

24 hours after receiving this letter, the website still reflected the incorrect information although after pointing this out to DS Mann it has now been fixed. 
The point relating to documentation that the resolution officers actually use is under review by DS Mann as I have two FOI requests from 2014 that wholly contradict his comments !