Compliments and Complaints
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) oversees Essex Police and ECFRS and has responsibility for ensuring that they provide an efficient and effective service.
- The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner cannot interfere in operational policing or demand that the Chief Constable changes how he uses his policing resources.
- The Office of the PFCC (OPFCC) cannot provide updates on how a crime is being investigated.
- If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.
When we receive a complaint or correspondence from a member of the public that involves other organisations such as Essex Police or local authorities it may be necessary to share information with them in order to respond. Where a complaint / correspondence concerns operational policing matters, we will forward that complaint / correspondence to Essex Police and ask them to action it. We will ask them to liaise directly with the member of the public, and inform us of the outcome. If the complaint or correspondence concerns another public service such as a local authority or health body, we will pass the complaint or correspondence on to them and ask them to action it. We will inform the member of the public that we have done this.
The office will reply to all other correspondence within 25 working days, and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this period.
Compliments and Complaints against:
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC)
Where a member of the public wishes to make an allegation or complaint that the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has failed to comply with the PFCC’s Code of Conduct, that allegation must be put in writing to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, Essex County Council, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QH.
The latest version of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s Voluntary Code of Conduct is included as Schedule 7 of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s Constitution. This can be viewed by clicking here.
Essex Police always welcome and encourage feedback as it is an important element of understanding how they can improve their service. As such we hope you are happy with the way Essex Police deal with you and if so we would ask you to tell us when you are. If however you feel they have not met the high standards that have been set or you are otherwise unhappy with the service provided or with the conduct of their staff, you can make a complaint.
The Chief Constable
Members of the public can make a complaint against the Chief Constable by writing to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner at Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.
Police officers and police staff
Members of the public can make a complaint against the conduct of all other members of the police service using any of the following methods:
- In person at any police station or in writing, online or fax.
- By phone, e-mail or writing to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. (See bottom of page).
- By a third party i.e. a friend, an associate or family member or a solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureau or Community Representative provided the complainant gives permission, preferably in writing, for them to make the complaint on their behalf.
Any compliment or complaint should be directed to:
Professional Standards Department
Essex Police Headquarters
Or email: [email protected]
Staff of the OPFCC
If a member of the public wishes to make a complaint against a member of the PFCC’s staff, they should write to:
The Chief Executive
Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB
You can make a complaint if you are a member of the public who:
- Has been the victim of the misconduct by any member of the police service.
- Witnessed or was affected by the misconduct.
- Is a friend, relative or representative of the victim of the misconduct.
What should my complaint say?
As well as your name, address and contact details, the main things that your complaint should cover are:
- What happened
- When it happened
- Who was involved
- What was said or done
- Whether there were any witnesses other than yourself and the person serving with the police
- Where the witnesses can be contacted, if known
- Details of any damage or injury which took place
Policy on dealing with abusive, persistent or unreasonable contact, correspondence and complaints
The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner aims to deal with all correspondence and complaints equitably, but there will be occasions when individuals make unreasonable demands of the office by way of correspondence or complaints.
Our policy on dealing with abusive, persistent or unreasonable contact, correspondence and complaints outlines the circumstances when we may decline to investigate a correspondence or complaint.
You can view the Policy here.
The role of the Professional Standards Department (PSD)
The Professional Standards Department is responsible for the investigation of complaints against police officers and police staff made by members of the public, the management of complaints and the investigation of misconduct.
Essex Police undertake to investigate all complaints swiftly and fairly and will provide you with the result of their investigation.
How Essex Police will deal with your complaint.
It may be that in the first instance, your concern will be sent to the relevant local policing area or command for them to make contact with you, even if your query relates to members of staff from within that area.
If the issue you are raising cannot be dealt with over the telephone or in writing by them, then they may seek to meet with you to complete a complaint form. You may then be offered a process called a Local Resolution to address your concerns. The officer taking your complaint will fully explain the process which will involve drawing up an action plan specifically aimed at resolving your complaint (usually within 28 days). This will be carried out and you will be contacted to confirm that this has been done. Should you remain unhappy at the end of the process you have a right of appeal to the IOPC and you will be provided with a leaflet which explains how to do this.
Should a Local Resolution not be possible or you do not agree to adopt this process, then the matter may be fully investigated and Essex Police has a team of investigators within Professional Standards Department for this purpose. Although allocated 120 days to investigate a complaint, Essex Police aim to complete the majority within 90 days. At the end of this process you will receive a report telling you what has been done and what the outcome is. This will include (if appropriate) details of any discipline procedures that are proposed to be taken against the officer/s or staff member/s. Again you have a right of appeal to the IOPC and details of how to do this will be provided when the report is sent to you.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
The IOPC is a statutory body, which may supervise or manage an investigation relating to the conduct of staff or in some cases, conduct the enquiry itself.
It will also conduct a review of the investigation should you choose to exercise your right of appeal.
For more information visit www.policeconduct.gov.uk or write to:
The Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
Telephone: 0300 020 0096 (press 2 at prompt)
Email: [email protected]
Police Appeal Tribunals
Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs) hear appeals against the findings of gross (serious) misconduct brought by police officers or special constables. The appeal hearings are held in public.
The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex is responsible for appointing the chair to conduct the proceedings. For more information, please click here.
Number of Complaints and Conduct matters brought to the attention of the PFCC by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel
|2013-2014||1 (PFCC)||1 Not accepted||Police and Crime Panel Secretary wrote to complainant explaining the process followed.|
|2014 – 15||4 (PFCC)||4 locally resolved|
|2015 – 16||1 (PFCC)
|2 locally resolved|
|2016 – 2017||0||o||N/A|
|2017 – 2018
||1 (PFCC)||1 locally resolved|
|2018 – 2019
||4 (PFCC)||1 procedure disapplied
3 locally resolved
|2019 – 2020||1 (PFCC)||1 locally resolved|
|2020 – 2021||2 (PFCC)||2 awaiting outcome|