Complainants' views of police complaints systems: The Gap between Aspiration and Experience
This chapter explores the views of complainants regarding their experiences with police complaint handling systems. While early police complaints systems relied on police agencies themselves to investigate and manage complaints made against their members, dissatisfaction and mistrust of these systems have led to the establishment of varying levels of external independent oversight, management, or control of the process. There is now a variety of police complaint models across different jurisdictions, but each should fundamentally see the complainant as its key stakeholder. This chapter reviews 46 surveys conducted with complainants regarding their experiences of these differing systems, broadly described as police dominated, independent, and mixed systems. While the surveys do show that the majority preference is for independence, with such systems attracting greater satisfaction regarding process and outcomes, complainants’ experiences are affected by the quality of treatment by the agency, perceptions of bias, and administrative inefficiencies regardless of which system they engage.
Civilian Oversight of Police: Advancing Accountability in Law Enforcement
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice