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Police Reform Act 2002

Paragraph 25: Appeals to the Commission with respect to an investigation

126.This paragraph applies where a complaint has been investigated by an appropriate authority on its own behalf under paragraph 16 or has been investigated under supervision under paragraph 17. The complainant will have been informed of his right to appeal under paragraph 24(8)(d).

127.The right of appeal for the complainant is a new provision and its purpose is to counter any failure, intentional or otherwise, in the discharge of the duty by the appropriate authority to achieve maximum openness with the complainant at the conclusion of an investigation. Its purpose is also to allow the complainant to challenge aspects of the investigation and any determination as a result of it.

128.Sub-paragraph (2) provides the grounds on which the complainant can appeal. The complainant will be able to appeal against the appropriate authority’s proposed action following the investigation, whether it is disciplinary action relating to a regular police officer or special constable or action with respect to a member of the force’s support staff. The complainant will also be able to appeal against the findings of the investigation and if they feel they have not been provided with adequate information about the investigation or the action resulting from it.

129.Under sub-paragraphs (3) and (4), the Commission may, following an appeal, require the appropriate authority to provide a memorandum with the relevant information on the case, including a copy of the investigation report, and the reasoning behind the decision over what action it proposed.

130.Under sub-paragraphs (5) to (9), the Commission must determine whether the complainant has been provided with adequate information, whether the findings of the report need to be reconsidered and whether the proposed action is appropriate. Following its determination, the Commission may:

  • direct the appropriate authority to disclose specific information except sensitive information which should be withheld under regulations made under section 20(6) and (7);

  • direct that the complaint be re-investigated or review the findings without a further investigation; and

  • may, under paragraph 27, make a recommendation and, if necessary, give a direction as to the proposed disciplinary action.

131.Sub-paragraphs (10) and (11) require the Commission to inform the appropriate authority, the complainant, interested persons as defined by section 21 and, providing it would not prejudice any review or re-investigation, the person complained against of any determination made or action taken under this section. Sub-paragraph (12) makes it a duty of the appropriate authority to comply with any direction.

132.Sub-paragraph (13) allows the Secretary of State to make provisions by regulations for the way in which and time within which appeals can be brought and procedures to follow by the Commission when dealing with an appeal.

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