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Compliments and complaints

Compliments: 

 

Durham Police officers and staff work hard to serve the communities of Durham and Darlington, officers and staff often go above and beyond what is expected of them.  If you want to compliment the team who has assisted you, please email General.EnquiriesPCVC@durham.pnn.police.uk

 

Making a Complaint

We appreciate that the police complaints process can seem complex and it’s important to understand what we can – and what we can’t do, to resolve your concerns.  The following information is intended to help guide you through that process to make sure your complaint is directed to the right place, first time.

A complaint can only be dealt with by the Appropriate Authority who has powers and responsibility specifically conferred by legislation and it’s important to understand that the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) is not permitted to operate outside this framework.  Legislation doesn’t allow the PCVC to become involved in complaints for which the Chief Constable is the Appropriate Authority, which includes complaints about the Force.   

To avoid frustration and unnecessary delays in resolving your concerns, the first question to ask is – what’s the nature of your complaint?   

 

Complaints about the Chief Constable 

The Appropriate Authority for a complaint against the Chief Constable is the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC).

Please put your complaint in writing to:

Chief Executive

Office of the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner

Police Headquarters

Aykley Heads

Durham

DH1 5TT

Or email general.enquiries@durham.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

Tel 0191 3752001

It’s important that we fully understand the nature of your complaint in order to make a recording decision and where appropriate, proceed with an investigation.  To help us do this, we’ll need the following information:

  • What are the specific actions of the Chief Constable that you’re unhappy with?
  • When did this happen?
  • How have you been affected?
  • What outcome would you like to see?

A complaint against the Chief Constable can’t be used as a mechanism to escalate an existing complaint about the Force, or to have a previously concluded complaint about the Force reviewed.

We’ll take steps to resolve and where appropriate, investigate your complaint.  When that’s concluded, you’ll be informed of the outcome, along with a clear rationale as to how and why that decision’s been reached.  You’ll also be advised of your right of appeal to the IOPC if you disagree with the outcome.  

 

Complaints about Durham Police 

The Appropriate Authority for a complaint against Durham Police is the Chief Constable.

For more information or to submit your complaint online, please visit the Force website here

https://www.durham.police.uk/About-Us/Our-commitment-to-you/Pages/Complaints.aspx

Email Complaints@durham.pnn.police.uk

Tel: 101 

It’s important to understand that legislation doesn’t permit the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner to become involved in complaints for which the Chief Constable is the Appropriate Authority.  

This includes expressions of dissatisfaction about policing matters including but not limited to:

  • service you’ve received
  • standard of an investigation
  • direction and control of resources
  • concern about Force policies
  • conduct of officers or staff

(excluding the Chief Constable)

Complaints about the Force will be passed to the Appropriate Authority in line with Statutory Guidance from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).   We will of course get in touch to let you know when this happens.

Right of Review

At the conclusion of your complaint you have the right to apply for a review of the outcome, should you disagree with the Force’s outcome decision. 

The Relevant Review Body will be either the PCVC or the IOPC, which will be clarified in your outcome letter. 

 

Complaints about the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for Durham

Please put your complaint in writing to:

Durham Police and Crime Panel

Durham County Council

County Hall

Durham

DH1 5UL

Email durhampoliceandcrimepanel@durham.gov.uk

Before submitting your complaint it may be helpful to view the PCVC’s Code of Conduct.

 

Complaints about OPCVC Staff 

Please put your complaint in writing to:

The Chief Executive

Office of the Durham Police, Crime and Victim’s Commissioner

Police Headquarters

Aykley Heads

Durham

DH1 5TT

Or email to:

general.enquiries@durham.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

It’s important to fully understand the nature of your complaint in order that we can resolve it for you, learn from mistakes and improve our practices.  Please provide us with the following information:

  • What were the circumstances?
  • Who was involved?
  • When did this occur?
  • How have you been affected?
  • What outcome would you like to see?

We’ll take steps to resolve your complaint and at its’ conclusion, inform you of the outcome, along with an explanation of how and why that decision’s been reached.   

 

The PCVC’s role in relation to the Police Complaints System 

 

Holding the Chief Constable to account

The PCVC has a statutory responsibility to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the complaints system locally, and for ensuring there are processes in place to scrutinise, support and challenge the overall performance of the Force, to monitor complaints and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of officers and staff.  The police complaints system has recently been the subject of significant reform which sets out principles of accessibility, reasonable and proportionate handling and learning and improvement; all vital factors in ensuring both public confidence and the ongoing development of a robust, effective and efficient complaints system. 

Complaints against the Chief Constable

The PCVC is the Appropriate Authority to deal with complaints about the Chief Constable, as outlined above.   

Relevant Review Body for Review of Complaint Outcomes

At the conclusion of a complaint against the Force for which the Chief Constable is Appropriate Authority, you have the right to apply for a review of the outcome, should you disagree with the Force’s outcome decision. 

The Relevant Review Body will be either the PCVC or the IOPC, dependent on the circumstances of your original complaint.  The RRB will be clarified in your outcome letter. 

Complaint Review Outcomes

From 1St February 2020, legislation changes resulted in the Office of the Durham Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (ODPCVC) being responsible for certain Reviews (formerly Appeals) following a complaint that has been dealt with by Durham Constabulary Professional Standards Department.

The following points will be considered by the Reviewing Officer before a conclusion is reached about the Review outcome.

  1. Whether your complaint was fully understood and all allegations or concerns addressed;
  2. Whether reasonable lines of enquiries were undertaken to be able to provide a reasonable and proportionate outcome;
  3. Whether due regard was given to relevant guidance;
  4. Where any aspects of your complaint were not addressed, or any lines of enquiry were not pursued, whether there were sound reasons given for this;
  5. Whether information or evidence was weighed appropriately and fairly;
  6. Whether the findings or determinations reached, logically follow from the information or evidence obtained.
  7. Whether due regard was given to the relevant legal tests and guidance;
  8. Whether the complaint handler attempted to understand the outcome you were seeking and gave that due consideration;
  9. Whether the proposed actions have sought to remedy the issues raised by you, so far as is reasonably possible;

10.Whether the proposed actions are reasonable and proportionate, considering all the circumstances;

11.Whether actions have been proposed or taken in respect of any learning or other issues identified through the handling of the matter.

In the spirit of openness and transparency, the ODPCVC will publish all Review outcomes as the Relevant Review Body (RAB).

 

 Date of   Review   Request

Date of Final Review outcome

Overview of Review Request

Review Outcome/Decision

 CO/53/20

 30/03/2020

02/04/2020

This Review was requested as the complainant was dissatisfied with the outcome from Durham Constabulary. The Reviewing Officer agreed the actions of Durham Constabulary were reasonable and proportionate and that appropriate lines of enquiries had been undertaken.

 Not Upheld

 CO/41/20

 24/04/2020

 11/05/2020

This Review was requested as the complainant was dissatisfied with the outcome from Durham Constabulary. The Reviewing Officer agreed the actions of Durham Constabulary were reasonable and proportionate and that appropriate lines of enquiries had been undertaken.

 Not Upheld

Useful Contacts 

Independent Office for Police Conduct www.policeconduct.gov.uk

Durham Police https://www.durham.police.uk/About-Us/Our-commitment-to-you/Pages/Complaints.aspx

 

 
 
 
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