Home office seeks partners to deliver its super-complaints system

Charities and groups have been informed today how they can play a vital role in the super-complaints system to further improve accountability of police forces

The Home Office has set out how organisations can apply to become ‘designated bodies’, so that they can raise issues or concerns on behalf of the public about patterns or trends in policing which are, or appear to be, significantly harming the interests of the public.

The regulations have been laid in Parliament today.

Organisations who feel they can contribute to the improvement of policing will have 6 weeks to apply from 3 April, and must demonstrate that they fulfil the 9 criteria set out in regulations. The new system will be operational later this year.

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd said:

"It is vital that the public have confidence in policing. While the current police complaints procedure is robust in tackling individual complaints about a particular police officer or incident, it is sometimes too slow to capture major, cross-force issues within policing.

"We are looking for a select group of organisations to become designated bodies who will be able to raise super-complaints and ensure these systematic issues are being properly addressed."

The criteria for becoming a ‘designated body’ were the subject of a consultation last year with respondents overwhelmingly supporting the 9 standards suggested. These include a requirement that prospective organisations:

• have considerable experience in representing the interests of the public
• will work to improve policing
• are able to demonstrate the capability to carry out their role effectively

The government’s response to this consultation has now been published.

The Home Secretary will be responsible for designating the successful bodies.

While super-complaints are already well established in the commercial and financial sectors this will be the first time they are used in the public sector.

The super-complaints system, set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, will complement existing complaints procedures. Once a policing super-complaint is received, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services will work with the Independent Office for Police Conduct, College of Policing, and others as required, to review the evidence provided by the designated body and agree an appropriate response.