I have a complaint about the police…

A tweet yesterday from the Chief Constable of Surrey Police caught my eye…

Lynne Owens tweet

It’s not just the police’s online system, I believe, that struggles to recognise “thanks”. There’s a substantial part of policing that’s (rightly) there to investigate complaints against the police: the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), forces’ “Professional Standards Departments”, PCCs’ “Police Misconduct Panels” and more.  In comparison, there’s not a great deal that’s in place to acknowledge and recognise those very many “thankyous” that policing rightly receives every single day from individuals across the country.

Police officers, PCSOs, police staff and Specials are just like the rest of us in at least one key respect – they’re human. They sometimes make mistakes. There are indeed a handful who absolutely shouldn’t be police officers (or staff or PCSOs or Specials). But the vast majority are doing the job (or “The Job”) to the very best of their ability. And, being human, they tend to do their job better when they know they’re wanted. Couldn’t we find a way to channel all those individual “thankyous” more positively?

So, my “complaint about the police” is that “they” (i.e. “we”, see note below) don’t do enough to listen to, and recognise, the public’s congratulations and thanks.

What concrete steps do I therefore think they (we) might take? How about, as a start:

  • renaming “Police Misconduct Panels” as “Police Conduct Panels”, and getting them to deal with both disciplinary AND congratulatory
  • getting Professional Standards Departments to examine and acknowledge excellence as well as poor performance
  • simply making it easier (and more visible) for the public to pass on those individual “thankyous” to police officers, staff, PCSOs and Specials – maybe through ThankThePolice.com or similar?

What do YOU think? Simply add a comment…

Note: one of the Peelian Principles “the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police…”



Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “I have a complaint about the police…

  1. Dave Spencer

    I agree. Could use the suggested process to also consider commendations and other awards nominations; bravery, Royal Humane Society etc

  2. David Lawrence

    I agree, but this is more general, we need to reduce the blame culture, be more forgiving and only act where there is criminal intent.

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