FOI 26072021-1 Information about Complaints Team


As part of your new role in initially dealing with complaints against the police.

Please provide details and documents concerning training in this role and the number of staff and grades including line management dedicated to this role.


I can confirm that the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner holds the information you requested.



The Policing and Crime Act 2017 gave the PFCC additional responsibilities in relation to complaints. The aim of the legislation was to:

  • Improve public confidence and satisfaction.
  • Provide a more customer focused service.
  • Increase transparency.
  • Make appeals more effective by providing greater independence.
  • Make the process more time efficient.
  • Simplify the system.
  • Enable trends and areas for concern to be identified more effectively.


All PCCs became the relevant review body for less serious complaints and were given additional oversight and accountability responsibilities in relation to the complaints process. Prior to the implementation of the Policing and Crime Act 2017, a complaint was only considered recordable where it related to the conduct of a specific officer. Post February 2020, the definition of a complaint has been updated to ‘any expression of dissatisfaction’.


The PFCC established a Customer Service Team within his office. This small team of three are responsible for recording all complaints against the force, the informal resolution of low-level complaints and for ensuring that all reviews are appropriately processed and considered.


The Customer Service Team are able to focus on quickly and effectively resolving complaints, whilst identifying learning, both for individuals and for the organisation that can be utilised to improve the service we provide to the residents of Northamptonshire. The OPFCC has  also adopted a rigorous oversight and accountability process whereby the Customer Service Team carry out regular DIP Samples of closed complaint files to ensure that complaints are handled in line with Independent Office for Police Conduct Statutory Guidance and to identify any areas of concern which will be brought to the attention of the Chief Constable through regular one to one meetings and the Force Accountability Board.


The Customer Service Team is led by the Customer Service Manager who reports to the Director for Delivery and is supported by two Customer Service Caseworkers. The grades for the Complaints and Customer Service Team are as follows:


Role Grade
Complaints and Customer Service Manager Scale 6
Complaints and Customer Service Caseworkers SO2


With regard to training, the Complaints and Customer Service Manager had already gained a great deal of experience of the police complaints system as part of their role within the Governance Team as they were responsible for working the Force’s Professional Standards Department in relation to complaints and they undertook regular dip sample meetings to ensure complaints were dealt with correctly and any outcomes were justified. These meetings helped to ensure the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner was able to hold the Chief Constable to account for the way the force dealt with complaints.


When the changes to Police Complaints System were announced, the Director for Delivery established a small working group to understand what the changes would mean for Northamptonshire and how best we could implement a new complaints regime. The Complaints and Customer Service Manager led this work and presented its findings to both the PFCC and the Chief Constable and has since received enquiries from PCCs from across the country to learn more about how we undertake complaints.


In terms of training undertaken, all members of the Customer Service Team have completed the Sancus Solutions Professional Standards Appropriate Authority Course and have attended a Complaints Handling in the Public Sector Conference. Members of the Customer Service Team engage regularly in the Independent Office for Police Conduct engagement events and workshops. The Customer Service Manager attends the annual Ethics in Policing Conference. All members of staff are offered the opportunity to visit various departments within the Force to ensure that they have good knowledge of various areas of policing.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Nicci Marzec, Monitoring Officer, Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Darby House, Darby Close, Park Farm Industrial Estate, Wellingborough. NN8 6GS. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.