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4(1)It shall be the duty of the appropriate authority to refer a complaint to the Commission if—
(a)the complaint is one alleging that the conduct complained of has resulted in death or serious injury;
(b)the complaint is of a description specified for the purposes of this sub-paragraph in regulations made by the Secretary of State; or
(c)the Commission notifies the appropriate authority that it requires the complaint in question to be referred to the Commission for its consideration.
(2)In a case where there is no obligation under sub-paragraph (1) to make a reference, the appropriate authority may refer a complaint to the Commission if that authority considers that it would be appropriate to do so so by reason of—
(a)the gravity of the subject-matter of the complaint; or
(b)any exceptional circumstances.
(3)In a case in which a reference under sub-paragraph (1) or (2) is neither made nor required to be made, a police authority may refer a complaint to the Commission if—
(a)it is one in relation to which the chief officer of police of the police force maintained by that authority is the appropriate authority; and
(b)the police authority considers that it would be appropriate to do so reason of—
(i)the gravity of the subject-matter of the complaint; or
(ii)any exceptional circumstances.
(4)Where there is an obligation under this paragraph to refer a complaint to the Commission, it must be so referred within such period as may be provided for by regulations made by the Secretary of State.
(5)Subject to sub-paragraph (7), the following powers—
(a)the power of the Commission by virtue of sub-paragraph (1)(c) to require a complaint to be referred to it, and
(b)the power of a police authority or chief officer to refer a complaint to the Commission under sub-paragraph (2) or (3),
shall each be exercisable at any time irrespective of whether the complaint is already being investigated by any person or has already been considered by the Commission.
(6)A police authority or chief officer which refers a complaint to the Commission under this paragraph shall give a notification of the making of the reference—
(a)to the complainant, and
(b)except in a case where it appears to that authority or chief officer that to do so might prejudice a possible future investigation of the complaint, to the person complained against.
(7)A complaint that has already been referred to the Commission under this paragraph on a previous occasion—
(a)shall not be required to be referred again under this paragraph unless the Commission so directs; and
(b)shall not be referred in exercise of any power conferred by this paragraph unless the Commission consents.
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