This procedure deals with complaints about staff conduct e.g. rudeness, a lack of professionalism, delay, failure to reply to letters etc. It is not intended to relate to disagreements about the outcome of an investigation or about decisions on how the investigation should proceed. The latter complaints should be handled according to the investigation handbook (complaints) or other internal guidance on investigation procedure. Managers will exercise discretion when deciding on the nature of the complaint and how it should be dealt with. This guidance applies to all staff.
A complaint is a verbal or written statement of protest or remonstrance. It is more than an expression or statement which can be handled within the normal channels of communication and therefore requires a formal response.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that a concern or complaint is managed sympathetically, efficiently and at the appropriate level, and that it is resolved as soon as possible. Doing so is good practice, it is fair to those concerned and it helps to promote confidence in the PPO’s ability to safeguard and promote standards. The PPO aims to resolve matters which may not have been treated entirely appropriately and, where necessary, review systems and procedures in the light of the circumstances.
Complaints will typically emanate from those in custody, members of their families, members of the general public or from the Services in remit. This policy does not deal with complaints about the outcomes of Complaint or Fatal Incident Investigations nor complaints from members of PPO staff which would be dealt with under the Ministry of Justice Grievance Policy.
It should be recognised that serious issues may be raised in an informal and friendly way and apparently trivial matters can be raised in an adversarial manner. The manner in which a complaint is made should not determine the level of importance that is attached to the complaint.
The details of all complaints must be recorded in a complaints log, along with details of what action was taken and the outcome.
The aims of this Policy are:
Initial receipt of complaint
Formal investigation and response
The complaint should not be discussed with others.
Complaints about the Ombudsman and Deputies