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Police Complaints Commissionoverseeing complaints made against police officers

What does the Police Complaints Commission do?

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.

What does a Commissioner do?

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.

How do you get appointed?

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.

What skills do you need?

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-judgemental.

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.

What support or training is there?

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.

What's the 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 2019, the Commission was notified of two cases and it supervised both of them. Seven appeals were registered, none upheld.
  • In 2020, the Commission was notified of two cases and it supervised both of them. Four appeals were registered, none upheld.

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.

Do you get paid?

Remuneration

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

Reasonable expenses will also be paid.

Rewards and downsides

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.

Where can I find out more?

More information

Go to gov.gg/PoliceComplaintsCommission for more information and how to apply. 

The Annual Report of the Police Complaints Commission 2021/22 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 at the bottom 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, or have a question, please do let us know by emailing hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.

Download info as PDF

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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

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Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

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Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

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