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Police Complaints Commissionoverseeing complaints made against police officers

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Summary

The Police Complaints Commission oversees the police complaints system in Guernsey and Alderney. The Commission is independent – it is not part of the police or the government.

The Commission was introduced in 2011 to increase public confidence and trust in the police and the complaints process.

Commissioners do not carry out investigations themselves. These are completed by officers in the Professional Standards Department (PSD) of Guernsey Police or by an outside force when the complaint concerns a senior officer.

The Commission has sight of a register containing all the complaints made and when an investigation has been completed a copy of the report is provided to the Commission for review.

 

 

Responsibilities

As a Police Complaints Commissioner, you will be:

  • Reading and interpreting large amounts of complex information
  • Making sound balanced decisions and justifying them
  • Working as part of a team

The work is challenging and Commissioners must be balanced, fair and remain independent. Commissioners must gain and maintain the confidence of all parties by treating them with respect, integrity and honesty.

Commissioners are required to review the reports presented on the completion of an investigation into a complaint.

They need to have the analytical ability to sift through evidence, understand the facts of the case and make an assessment as to whether the complaints process has been followed satisfactorily.

The Commission also considers appeals.

 


 

 

Appointment process

From time to time, the Committee for Home Affairs advertises for new Commissioners to replace people who have stood down.  There are five Commissioners and a Chairperson.

To apply, you complete an application form.  If you are shortlisted you will be interviewed by the Chair of the Commission and the Commission’s Secretary.

You will then undergo a Basic Police Check – although having previous convictions does not automatically exclude you.

If you are successful the Committee for Home Affairs will recommend you to the States of Deliberation for appointment.

If you are interested in this role contact Emily Grainger, Secretary to the Police Complaints Commission, at homeaffairs@gov.gg

Who can apply?

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply unless they are, or have previously been a member of a police force.

Exclusions

Deputies, holders of judicial office or full-time employees of the States cannot be appointed as Commissioners

Skills

No specific qualifications are required for this role. The Committee for Home Affairs is looking for people who are interested in the work of the police, are committed to attend meetings and are able to be flexible, approachable and able to maintain confidentiality.

You must be fair, objective and non-judgmental.

The ability to use word processing software and access to e-mail is essential.

Experience in reading and interpreting law is desirable but not essential as training and advice is provided.

Support and training

Senior Commissioners along with staff from across Home Affairs will provide a comprehensive training programme for all new Commissioners. 

The training is tailored to the needs and diaries of the Commissioners and will include briefing documents, shadowing experienced Commissioners, visiting the police station and understanding how the police are trained.

Time commitment

The amount of time required for each case can vary significantly.  A short case could be dealt with in one meeting, a more complex case could require several meetings across a number of months.

  • In 2017, the Commission was notified of seven cases and it only supervised two of them.
  • In 2018, the Commission was notified of four cases and it supervised two of them, one of which was appealed in 2019.

Only the Chair and two Commissioners are needed for each case so you will not be involved in every supervised complaint. 

The work is flexible and you can arrange it to fit around other commitments. Meetings are scheduled as the cases come in and are dependent on Commissioners’ availability.

Commissioners are appointed for a four year term which may be renewed.

Remuneration

You will be paid an allowance of £76 per half day. 

Reasonable expenses will also be paid.

 
 

Rewards

You will be working as a team to safeguard public trust and confidence in the police.

There is flexibility to be able to balance the role with your home and work life.

Downsides

It is not a public facing role; the Commission meets in private to consider sensitive information which can sometimes be time-consuming to read.

It is not something you can talk about; Commissioners must be able to maintain confidentiality and must not discuss their work with anyone outside of the Commission.


More information

Go to www.gov.gg/PoliceComplaintsCommission and follow the links for an information booklet and an application form. 

The Annual Report of the Police Complaints Commission 2017/2018 gives a really good insight into the work of the Commission.

Download this information

To download all of the information about Police Complaints Commissioners as a PDF, click the PDF symbol on the right of this page.
 

Corrections

This description of the role of Police Complaints Commissioner has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers.  If you spot an error, please do let us know by emailing hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.

If you have a question about the Police Complaints Commission that isn’t answered on this page, please contact us at hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.  We’ll research the answer and then publish it here to help inform others who might be curious about the same thing.

In brief…

The Police Complaints Commission is the independent body that oversees the police complaints system in Guernsey and Alderney.

Commissioners do not carry out investigations into complaints themselves. These are completed by officers in the Professional Standards Department (PSD) of Guernsey Police. 

Instead, Commissioners review the reports presented on the completion of the investigation into a complaint.

From time to time, the Committee for Home Affairs advertises for new Commissioners to replace people who have stood down. There are five Commissioners and a Chairperson.

You will need to be interested in the work of the police, committed to attending meetings and able to be flexible, approachable and maintain confidentiality.

A short case could be dealt with in one meeting, a more complex case could require several meetings across a number of months.

In 2018, the Commission was notified of four cases and it supervised two of them.

There’s much more…

To read about the Police Complaints Commission in detail, click the ‘download info as pdf’ button below.  Or change over to a laptop or tablet.