Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson has appointed an independent Appeals Adjudicator to review complaints appeals.
Following the post being advertised and a recruitment process taking place, successful candidate Allan Johns, pictured, who lives in the north of the county, has now taken up the part time role.
If a member of the public makes a complaint to Wiltshire Police and is not satisfied with the way the Force has decided to deal with it they have the right to appeal that decision.
New role to review complaint appeals again Wiltshire Police
This new role involves reviewing these complaint appeals and determining whether the findings and action Wiltshire Police decided on should stand or be changed. This was previously carried out by the national Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which now only deals with a very limited number of appeals.
Mr Macpherson said: "Following the responsibility for reviewing complaint appeals being passed from the IPCC, I have a responsibility to ensure that every complaint appeal is fully investigated and that this process is fair, transparent and rigorous.
"The recruitment of Professor Johns as an Appeals Adjudicator not only means that we have individual with the right skills and expertise reviewing each appeal, but also ensures objectivity and distance between my office and Wiltshire Police in relation to the overall complaints process."
As well as reviewing these complaints appeals, Prof Johns’ role also includes investigating any complaints made against the Wiltshire Police Chief Constable and monitoring how the Force deals with complaints and conduct matters. He carries out both these tasks on behalf of the Commissioner.
Emeritus Professor at University of Bath
Allan Johns is an emeritus professor at The University of Bath where he now acts in a part time consultancy role. He has experience in reviewing complaints and appeals as he was chairman of Wiltshire Police Authority’s Professional Standards Committee for four years. He was also a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Erlestoke Prison for three years. During this time he was responsible for overseeing the adjudication process for dealing with serious misconduct of prisoners.
Prof Johns said: "I look forward to continuing to work with both the Office of the PCC and Wiltshire Police and I will be working hard to ensure that the people of Swindon and Wiltshire can have full confidence that any concerns they have will be independently investigated and addressed.
"I feel I have the necessary skills and experience to be able to review and investigate complaints thoroughly and make impartial decisions on these important matters as the newly appointed independent Appeals Adjudicator."