STAFFORDSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, has welcomed an increase in the number of complaints Staffordshire Police are formally recording against the force in 2014/15.
The Transparency Agenda he set out after being elected in late 2012 called for policing in Staffordshire to be the most open and transparent in the country. The Commissioner’s ambition was supported by the previous and current Chief Constables.
A recent Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report shows a 66% year on year rise in recorded complaints against Staffordshire Police. Significant is the number of lower-level issues around dissatisfaction with service that were not previously recorded as complaints but now are.
Mr Ellis said: “I want to see a picture of all aspects of policing which is accurate and honest. Achieving that is critical for public confidence and where there is dissatisfaction with the service police provide, or inadequate performance on tackling crime or other local issues, it can only be improved if it’s known about and is in the public domain.
“Establishing the independent Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel (ETAP) two years ago, and the current rollout of new Safer Neighbourhood Panels that place local residents in each local policing area across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent at the heart of holding police to account, all support the ambition to make policing here the most transparent anywhere.
“But it can’t happen without clear cooperation from Staffordshire Police and over time cooperation has turned to enthusiasm for working with local people, performance experts from my office carrying out spot audits, and external inspectors doing their work to assure open and transparent policing for Staffordshire.
“The complete and accurate picture these complaint figures portray requires improvement and the mechanisms we now have in place will examine the work the Chief Constable and her team do within policing to ensure that happens.”
To find out more about getting involved in Safer Neighbourhood Panels or the Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel visit http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/volunteer/