Public confidence surveys
Dame Anne Owers talks about the public confidence survey and our plans to help police forces improve how they handle complaints.
IPCC Public confidence survey 2014
IPCC Public confidence survey 2011
IPCC Public confidence survey 2009
IPCC Public confidence survey 2008
IPCC Public confidence survey 2007
IPCC Public confidence survey 2004
In order to measure trends in public confidence concerning the complaints system we survey a representative samples of the general population. The survey asks about:
Our surveys usually question approximately 4,000 people - a nationally representative sample of adults in England and Wales, and in some cases an ethnic minority booster sample of 1,000 people.
We have now commissioned six public confidence surveys over an 11-year period. Each has found that there is a general high willingness to complain and high levels of awareness of the IPCC. Certain key groups have, however, been identified as being less willing to complain and as having lower levels of awareness of the IPCC. This includes young people and those from minority ethnic groups.
Public perceptions of the police complaints system
In 2006, we commissioned MORI to do some in-depth follow-up work with these groups to establish why they felt this way and what, if anything, can be done to improve things. In addition to the groups identified by the survey, the MORI work also included groups who have traditionally had lower levels of trust and confidence in the police but were not able to be included in the survey, such as gay and lesbian people, gypsy/traveller groups and people for whom English was not their first language.
The study found that perceptions of the police heavily influenced perceptions of the complaints procedure in general, and the likelihood of making a complaint in particular. The groups that tended to have more frequent and adversarial contact with the police tended to have the lowest levels of trust, and as such were the least willing to complain about inappropriate behaviour. Conversely those that had the least amount of contact had much higher expectations of police behaviour and were therefore more willing to complain about a range of potential misconduct. This research has helped the IPCC to shape its communication strategies and identify where efforts should be focused to improve confidence in, and awareness of the complaints system.
An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.