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Complaints against the Chief Constable

The Police, under the direction of the Chief Constable, have operational independence and the Police are accountable to the law for the exercise of police powers. However, the Chief Constable is also accountable to the Police and Crime Commissioner for the delivery of efficient and effective policing, management of resources and expenditure, and ultimately the delivery of policing in the Avon and Somerset Police area.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for holding to account the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police for how policing services are delivered in the local policing area. The PCC is also responsible (as the ‘appropriate authority’) for any complaints, conduct matters, or Death or Serious Injury matters involving the Chief Constable (or any acting Chief Constable) of Avon and Somerset Police.

The PCC is also responsible for handling complaints against the personal conduct of the Chief Constable. This includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions by the Chief Constable.

Expectations about the behaviour of the Chief Constable are set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour. These expectations include requirements to:

  • Act with Honesty and Integrity;
  • Treat members of the public and their colleagues with Respect and Courtesy;
  • Not abuse powers and authority
  • Act with fairness and impartiality;
  • Act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service.

To view the full list of Standards of Professional Behaviour, please click here.

If you wish to make a complaint against the personal conduct of a police officer below the rank of Chief Constable or a member of Police staff, then there is a specific section on the Avon & Somerset Police website. Alternatively you can telephone the Police non-emergency number: 101 or visit your local Police Station.

The PCC acts as the disciplinary body (appropriate authority) for the Chief Constable and the arrangements for dealing with complaints against the personal conduct of a Chief Constable are statutory, as set out within the Police Reform Act 2002.

If you wish to make a complaint about the personal conduct of the Chief Constable, in not meeting the Standards of Professional Behaviour, then please state what the complaint is about and what you would regard as a satisfactory outcome.

Either email: pcc@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk

Or write to:

The Police and Crime Commissioner

Avon and Somerset Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner

Valley Road


Bristol   BS20 8JJ

The PCC only deals with purely conduct-related complaints and not complaints about operational decisions or policing policies.  Therefore, any other type of complaint needs to be addressed separately.

What happens after a complaint against the Chief Constable is made?

We aim to make a recording decision and reply to you within 10 working days. You have the right to appeal to the IOPC if you disagree with our decision not to officially record your complaint. We will decide whether the complaint can be locally resolved with you or if criminal or misconduct proceedings require formal investigation. We will also determine whether any action should be taken and whether disciplinary proceedings should be brought if the complaint is against the current Chief Constable. This is not required for a Chief Constable who is no longer serving in Avon and Somerset Police, although criminal proceeding could be brought if appropriate.

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