Concern over commissioner complaints procedures

Concerns have been raised after it was revealed the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office will handle its own complaints – rather than an independent panel.

Coun Joe Otten, who sits on the Police and Crime Panel which currently oversees complaints, has raised concerns about the new procedure.

He said: “These changes are a blow to transparency.”

Under the new system, approved by the PCP, complaints sent to the PCC will initially be handled by his own office.

From there, a ‘triaging process’ will be established and complaints either escalated to the Independent Police Complaints Commission or South Yorkshire Police.

But in some cases, complaints will be entirely handled by the commissioner’s office.

The proposed changes were put forward by Rotherham Borough Council.

A spokesman for the council stressed the new system will not affect transparency.

They said the commissioner’s office will merely establish a triaging process – and will not handle complaints about themselves.