Root and Branch Review of Complaints

The review has now been completed.

Click here to read the covering letter from Catherine Crawford to Mark Burns-Williamson.

Click here to read the Review into the Handling of Complaints and Conduct in West Yorkshire.

Click here to read Mark Burns-Williamson's inital response to the review.

On 15 May 2013, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson launched an independent review into the way police complaints and conduct are currently handled.

The review, which has implications for the way police forces' across the country will investigate complaints, will be led by Catherine Crawford, former Chief Executive of the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

The terms of reference for the review are as follows:-


'Ensuring integrity' in West Yorkshire Police Service is a vision set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2013-18 and this independent review fulfils an important commitment made by the Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson to the people of West Yorkshire. It is supported and welcomed by the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Mark Gilmore.


To conduct a strategic review of the arrangements for and the approach to the way in which complaints and conduct matters are handled by the West Yorkshire Police to ensure integrity and to restore public trust and confidence in policing across West Yorkshire.

In particular, the review will:

1. Consider the approach and the arrangements adopted by West Yorkshire Police (WYP) for dealing with conduct matters and complaints;

2. Consider the extent to which these arrangements are consistent with, and complimentary to, the Police and Crime Commissioner's (PCC's) Plan and the Chief Constable's (CC's) Statement of Purpose and Values making sure that the concerns of all people across West Yorkshire are put first;

3. Review the accountability mechanisms by which the PCC discharges his responsibilities for monitoring complaints and conduct matters across WYP and for holding the CC to account;

4. Examine how WYP and the PCC respond to and process complaints or requests from people who have exhausted all the formal processes but are still dissatisfied with the outcome;

5. Examine the way in which both WYP and the PCC respond to complaints that are prima facie vexatious;

6. Consult with staff across WYP and the PCC and other stakeholders to understand what could be done better and what support they need in helping the PCC and the CC ensure public trust and confidence;

7. Consider best practice in other areas and explore the potential for joined up working with partners, including other forces, with a view to making the arrangements more effective and efficient and providing best value for people across West Yorkshire and elsewhere;

8. Consider the respective legal responsibilities of the PCC and CC as the Appropriate Authority for complaints and conduct matters, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as the statutory authority tasked with maintaining public confidence in the complaints system and the extent to which these arrangements contribute to the community outcomes of the PCC.

9. Make recommendations for a new approach and new arrangements as appropriate.

It should be carefully noted that this is not a review of historical/extant cases or a re-investigation of any complaints and conduct matters. Anything arising within the course of this review that indicates potential conduct matters involving officers and/or staff of the West Yorkshire Police and/or the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire will be dealt with according to the relevant legislation and the applicable policies in place at the time.

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