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Dorset PCC Backs Calls For Changes To Police Complaints

PCC Martyn Underhill

8:11am 14th December 2014

Plans to change the way complaints against the police are handled are being welcomed by Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Home Secretary wants to stop the police from investigating themselves and allow PCCs to deal with low level complaints.

The plans are meant to make the complaints system simpler and more transparent.

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said "The public of Dorset, and I overwhelmingly believe that the police should not investigate themselves."

"Wherever you go, people cannot understand a teacher marking their own homework. Police complaints needs full independence and at the moment only the most serious allegations receive that through the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)."

"A partnership between the IPCC and PCC would enable complete transparency and due governance."

"At our engagement events, I ask people 'Do you think it is appropriate for the police to investigate their own complaints? We asked over 300 people in 8 locations in Dorset in the last year and 90% said 'NO'.

"It is a clear message from the people in Dorset. I know that most people do not want to see police officers investigating themselves. It just isn't right".  

In addition, the key reform proposals include providing the IPCC with additional powers and to introduce police disciplinary hearings in public with independent, legally qualified chairs.

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