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New role in police complaints
8:30am Monday 10th December 2012 in News
WILTSHIRE Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson is to recruit an independent adjudicator to determine appeals into complaints against police officers.
The new Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel, which scutinises the work of the commissioner, was told at a meeting on Wednesday that a recruitment process was about to begin to appoint the part-time adjudicator on a salary of less than £10,000.
Kieran Kilgallen, chief executive of the commissioner’s office, told the panel the Independent Police Complaints Commission was no longer going to deal with appeals against decisions into complaints about police officers.
Mr Kilgallen, who was previously chief executive of the now abolished Wiltshire Police Authority, said: “It will enable us to fulfil the role done by the police authority’s professional standards committee.
“If you are not happy about a complaint you can go to an independent person – someone who has knowledge of the law relating to complaints and can provide an independent view.”
Mr Macpherson said it was important to have someone independent in the role as often people do not trust politicians or the police to investigate themselves.
There are about 50 appeals a year in Wiltshire resulting from complaint decisions against police.
The panel, which met at Devizes Town Hall, was also told of the recruitment process for a substantive Chief Constable. The post is currently held by temporary Chief Constable Patrick Geenty.
The panel will have the power to veto the commissioner’s appointment.
Panel member councillor Brian Ford, a former member of Wiltshire Police Authority, was concerned that with so many vacancies for Chief Constables around the country there might not be a high quality of candidates applying.
The panel also has the power to veto a rise in the precept for Wiltshire Police’s share of the Council Tax bill.
The Panel’s next meeting will be on January 4 in the Corn Exchange, Devizes, at 10am.