Complaints and Reviews
The Police and Crime Commissioner has 3 main duties in relation to complaints and reviews, they are:
- Appropriate Authority to consider complaints about the Chief Constable,
- Duty to hold the Chief Constable to account in providing an effective and efficient complaints process, and
- Relevant Review Body of some police complaints.
The information on how the Police and Crime Commissioner meets these statutory duties can be accessed here.
At the quarterly Professional Standards Scrutiny Board meetings held with the Deputy Chief Constable and Professional Standards Department the Police and Crime Commissioner scrutinises the manner in which complaints and misconduct allegations are dealt with by North Wales Police. The full terms of reference can be accessed here.
Quarterly and Annual statistics are published by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Police Misconduct Hearings
Under the Police Conduct Regulations 2012 (as amended by Police (Conduct) (Amendment)Regulations 2015), changes were made to the conduct and composition of police misconduct hearings for police officers of Superintendent rank and below. The purpose of the changes is to bring greater transparency and independence to police misconduct hearings. They include the holding of hearings in public (which was introduced in May 2015) and since January 2016,the chairing of them by legally qualified person appointed by Police and Crime Commissioners(the Commissioners).Further changes in legislation were made from 1 February 2020 under the Policing and Crime Act 2017 where legally qualified chairs will be required to manage police misconduct hearings from the outset.
Misconduct process - non senior police officers(Superintendent and below)
Public confidence in the police is of the highest importance. To secure it, police officers are expected to demonstrate a high level of personal and professional standards of behaviour.An allegation of misconduct against a police officer or a special constable may be deemed appropriate for investigation by the Force’s Professional Standards Department or the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).The findings of an investigation will be referred to and formally assessed by the Deputy Chief Constable as the ‘appropriate authority’. If the Deputy Chief Constable considers the allegation as one of gross misconduct, the matter will be referred to a police misconduct hearing for determination and, in the event of the allegation being found to be proved,the imposition of sanctions.
Misconduct Hearings in North Wales, Dyfed Powys, Gwent and South Wales
Hearings will be held in each of the North Wales, Dyfed Powys, Gwent and South Wales police force areas. Hearings will be conducted by a Police Misconduct Panel (the panel) made up of one legally qualified chair, one police officer of at least the rank of superintendent and an independent member. It is the responsibility of the Commissioners to maintain a list of legally qualified chairs and independent members and appoint them. It is the responsibility of the Commissioners to appoint them by using the ‘cab rank process’, click here to see the appointment process adopted in Wales.
It is the responsibility of the appropriate authority to appoint a police officer member of the panel.
Police Appeals Tribunals
Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs) hear appeals against the findings of gross (serious) misconduct brought by police officers or special constables. PATs are currently governed by Police Appeals Tribunal Rules 2012, which were amended in 2015 and 2020. The amendments set out what may be published in respect of appeal hearings and allows for the appeal hearings to be held in public. Members of the public can now attend appeal hearings as observers but are not allowed to participate in proceedings however the Chair of the Tribunal reserves the right to hold part or all of the Tribunal in private.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales is responsible for facilitating the hearing which includes appointing the Chair to conduct the proceedings. The Chair will be appointed from a Register of Legally Qualified Chairs held by the Home Office.
Details of upcoming Police Appeals Tribunals will be published on the North Wales Police’s website.