Posted: Thursday 23 August 2012

Complainer should be told the outcome of review of procedures, says police complaints commissioner

A man who complained about a senior officer in Lothian and Borders Police should be informed of the outcome of a review of the force's complaints procedures requested by the Joint Police Board who looked at his case, according to the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland.

The man, who is not named in the Commissioner's report, claimed that the Deputy Chief Constable was guilty of misconduct amounting to wilful and careless falsehood in letters, issued under his name by junior officers. The letters related to the investigation of a complaint by the man that he had been threatened by neighbours during an incident in his garden in 2010.

A sub-committee of the board responsible for looking at allegations of misconduct against senior police officers, found no evidence to support the claim, stating that the Deputy Chief Constable's involvement in the case would have been minor. In a letter to the man, the Clerk to the Board said that as a result of the issues raised by the complaint, there were grounds to believe that the force's procedures for dealing with complaints may not be operating properly and they intended to ask the Chief Constable to conduct a review of them.

The man then contacted Professor John McNeill the Police Complaints Commissioner, asking him to carry out a review of the board's handling of his complaint. In his decision published today, the Commissioner found that the committee reached a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence and that the complaint had been handled reasonably. He went on to recommend that the applicant is informed of the general outcome of the review of procedures which Lothian and Borders Police are to undertake in the light of this complaint.

Commenting on the case Professor McNeill said:

It would be an example of good complaints handling if the man whose case brought about the review of procedures was told in general terms the findings of the review, I hope that the board will do this in due course.

 Follow this link to read the full report




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