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AVON AND SOMERSET POLICE AUTHORITY
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS SUB-COMMITTEE
18 MARCH 2010
REPORT OF THE CHIEF CONSTABLE
To report back to the Police Authority following the most recent dip sampling of
complaints regarding Discriminatory Behaviour.
Five members of the Police Authority conducted a dip sample of PSD complaints
files themed on discriminatory behaviour in January 2010. Twenty files were
reviewed on the day with general feedback being given to the Head of
Professional Standards at the conclusion.
Three general points of concern were raised:
Language/tone of letters: This observation has also been identified by the
recent PSD Review. The style and content of letters are in the process of being
changed, the four most common letters are being re-written now. There will also
be a move away from template letters to a more personal response. The new
IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) Statutory Guidance also
recommends this approach. This will be developed within the post review work
Timeliness: Immediate steps have been taken to improve on timeliness with
regular reviews of outstanding files/cases being implemented. A review process
set at 30, 60, 90 and 120 days along with an appropriate escalation procedure is
Perceptions: PA members highlighted research by the IPCC that there was
perception among minority ethnic groups of discrimination by the police towards
them. This has personally been discussed with each Investigating officer by a
member of the PSD Senior Leadership Team (SLT).
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Additional action by PSD following dip sampling: All the files commented on
by the Police Authority Members were reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team.
Further links were identified in relation to the relationship with SARI (Support
Against Racist Incidents) and comments made by Investigating Officers which
might be taken out of context. The SLT has met with all investigating officers
individually and discussed the contents of such reports; setting the expectation
for the future. All discrimination reports will be scrutinised by an SLT member
prior to finalisation.
The relationship between the Constabulary's Black Police Association and PSD
had become less effective; the Head of Professional Standards has instigated
formal meetings with both BPA and SARI to develop better working relationships.
The steps taken above will start to address some of the issues commented on
but will need continual review and action to enhance the diversity culture of the
It is recommended that members discuss the paper.
Contact Officer: Superintendent Mike Prior, Head of PSD (01275 816020)
Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham (01275 816002)