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'Super complaints' system aimed at improving police standards

Published 06/02/2016

Home Secretary Theresa May described the current police disciplinary system as
Home Secretary Theresa May described the current police disciplinary system as "complex and difficult to navigate"

Charities and pressure groups will be able to lodge "super complaints" against the police under a shake-up announced by the Government.

The new system will give organisations an official route to raise "systemic" issues.

They will be able to pursue complaints on behalf of the public about patterns or trends that could "undermine legitimacy".

The main purpose will be to capture national or cross-force issues that are not covered by the existing complaints and inspections system, the Home Office said.

It is one of a raft of measures aimed at improving the police complaints and disciplinary systems that will be included in forthcoming legislation.

Under the new regime, when misconduct allegations arise officers will still be subject to the disciplinary process until investigations and proceedings have concluded - even if they have resigned or retired.

It will also see the creation of a statutory framework for the College of Policing to receive and, in some circumstances, publish details from a register of former officers who have been dismissed.

Police forces, and other policing organisations, will be barred from employing people on the register.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the current police disciplinary system is "complex and difficult to navigate".

She said: " Police integrity is at the heart of public confidence in the police and underpins the model of policing by consent.

"It is what gives rank-and-file officers the legitimacy to do their jobs effectively.

"The vast majority of police officers in this country do their job honestly and with integrity.

"They put themselves in harm's way to protect the public. But the good work of the majority can be damaged by events and revelations relating to police conduct.

"We will strengthen public confidence and trust in the police by radically reforming and simplifying the police complaints and disciplinary systems, including by providing for an enhanced role for PCCs (Police and Crime Commissioners) and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and greater protection for police whistle-blowers."

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