Complaints against Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Staff
1. Purpose of the procedure
1.1 The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire (the Commissioner) seeks to provide a high standard of service to the public for all matters which are within the roles, functions and responsibilities of the Commissioner. This Complaints Procedure has the following purposes:
(a) to reassure the public that any reasonable complaint made about the performance or conduct of a member of staff of the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will be dealt with impartially and within an appropriate timescale,
(b) to ensure that Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner staff members who are subject to a complaint have adequate rights and safeguards during the course of investigation of the complaint and any subsequent disciplinary procedures (if appropriate); and
(c) to ensure that any investigation and conclusions comply with the requirements of natural justice, rules of evidence, human rights and equal opportunities.
2. Complaints to which this procedure relates
2.1 The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will record a complaint in accordance with this procedure if it concerns one of the following:
(i) if you are not satisfied about the level of service provided by a member of the Commissioners staff.
(ii) if you believe there has been a breach of the Commissioners staff Code of Conduct by a member of the Commissioners staff.
2.2 If your complaint relates to a response you have received to a request you have made for access to information, the Commissioner will consider your complaint in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
2.3 The following types of complaint are excluded from the procedure:
(i) Complaints which amount to a disagreement with a decision of the Commissioner,
(ii) Matters which are currently the subject of litigation or legal proceedings,
(iii) any dispute by staff members concerning their terms and conditions of service.
3. Making a complaint
3.1 Complaints must be addressed to:
The Monitoring Officer
Northamptonshire Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
Park Farm Industrial Estate
Or, if the complaint is about the Monitoring Officer, then to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner at the same address.
3.2 Complaints should be made in writing, if at all possible, in order to aid clarity and avoid misunderstanding. However, if this causes you difficulty (due for example to a disability, difficulty reading and writing or due to a language barrier) then the complaint may be accepted in another format – each case will be considered individually.
3.3 Regardless of how the complaint is made you will be provided with written acknowledgment of the complaint within 5 working days of receipt by the Commissioner’s office.
4. How the complaint will be investigated
4.1 It should be noted that the Commissioner will not necessarily personally deal with your complaint but may delegate the responsibility to another member of staff who has not had any involvement in the matter about which the complaint is being made. You will be advised about who is your point of contact and will be provided with written confirmation of the complaint to ensure the complaint has been properly understood.
If it is unclear what your complaint is about then you may be asked to clarify it or provide additional information.
4.2 Step 1 – Initial Discussion
All complaints will be considered initially by an appropriate manager. As complaints can often be resolved quickly through informal discussions, the person dealing with your complaint may contact you to discuss your complaint with you. This is often a good way of resolving a complaint and if, as a result of any discussions, you are satisfied with the outcome, that will usually resolve the matter.
4.3 Step 2 – Further Investigation
The person dealing with your complaint will determine whether a more detailed investigation of the complaint is necessary. Should investigation be necessary, you will be advised of this and of how long it might take.
4.4 The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner would normally expect to complete any investigations and to provide a full response in writing within 28 working days of your complaint being acknowledged. However, where this timescale is not practicable, you will be contacted in writing advising why and when we anticipate being able to provide you with a full response. If the complaint takes longer to resolve, then you will be updated on progress at least every 28 days.
5. Complaints about the Monitoring Officer
5.1 Complaints about the Monitoring Officer will be brought to the attention of the Commissioner however he may delegate complaint handling to a senior member of staff.
5.2 Complaints about the Monitoring Officer will be dealt with in line with this policy.
6. Making Contact
6.1 Any complaints about members of staff should be addressed to:
Office of Northamptonshire the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner,