Vera Baird is determined that Northumbria Police deal with complaints against themselves in an open and transparent way. The Commissioner has carried out an investigation into how Northumbria Police deal with complaints against themselves.
The Commissioner has appointed an Independent Police Complaints Scrutiny Panel made up of members of the public who will undertake a scrutiny role under the guidance of the OPCC into how Northumbria Police deal with complaints. Following an advertisement for public involvement, she received 16 applications to be a Member of the Scrutiny Panel and seven were subsequently appointed to the Panel.
The panel work together to scrutinise varied aspects of policing from an objective point of view. It reviews ‘dip sampled’ completed police complaints files and raise issues relating to complaints handling e.g. appropriate resolutions, timeliness of response, etc. It will ensure all paperwork is complete to a high standard and feedback to the Commissioner to ensure wider issues can be included in her priorities.
The panel will also highlight where policing is working consistently well so the appropriate acknowledgement can be communicated and areas of good practice highlighted so that their findings can be rolled out into other areas.
The seven Members of the Scrutiny Panel, who were subject to the usual police vetting procedures, have received the appropriate training and commenced the work of the Panel in October 2013.