A radical set of proposals to shake up how police complaints are dealt with has been unveiled by Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Tony Lloyd said the plans will see the creation of an independent ethics committee and a complaints ombudsman for the region with the power to speedily resolve issues before they become part of a bureaucratic complaints system.
The measures will not replace the Independent Police Complaints Commission in Greater Manchester, but will give residents the option to use a service that will be more effective than the police watchdog’s.
Tony said: “These plans will mean that Greater Manchester people will have access to a speedy and effective complaints resolution process. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is overburdened and under resourced, which inevitably means it doesn’t do its job as well as it should.
“There are unacceptable delays before legitimate complaints can be resolved. The public and the police deserve better and these proposals, which are backed by the Chief Constable, mean that – at least in our region – we can have a complaints process that works.
“Greater Manchester Police have made great strides in recent years to improve how they respond to complaints. But the infrastructure and bureaucracy that both the police and public face when concerns are raised undermine public confidence, they undermine good policing and they are a barrier to driving up standards.”
Both the ethics committee and the ombudsman will be entirely independent of police.
Tony added: “They will report to me, which means they will be answerable solely to the people of Greater Manchester. In recent times issues of police integrity and the complaints system have become mired in political rows. These plans will take the politics out of police integrity in Greater Manchester.”
The committee and the ombudsman will be in place by spring 2014. Further details of how the plans will work, and how to apply to be on the committee, will be published by the end of the year.