Saturday, 30 August 2008

Unjustified Complaints

I've just copped a proper complaint. Now I can't remember the last time I had a real one through the complaints department, but it must have been over 10 years. As usual I've done nothing wrong but will have to go through the usual processes before being informed no action is to be taken against me.

The allegations are rather unclear - complaints departments aren't like they used to be, but from what I can make out I'm in the frame for assault and leaving an address in a mess after a search warrant execution. If it's the one I'm thinking of I attended on crutches whilst off sick to identify possible wanted individuals. Now once cautioned do I inform complaints of this or follow federation advice and say nothing. I think I'll be helpful and write them a nice letter. No doubt this will take 6 months to clear up if I'm lucky.

People in the street think we all close ranks over complaints. Let me tell you what happened when a minor whinge was made against me. I turned up to assist officers after a stag party of merchant bankers (literally) went a tad bent. The stag (Asian) had racially abused the doorman (Black) and got rightly nicked. This had all started over one of the party being rude to the cloakroom girls making her cry because he'd lost his ticket and couldn't get his coat back.

I turned up as the stag departed to deal with the aftermath. Loads of braying drunk idiots who literally used the phase we're merchant bankers as if that excused their conduct. I layed down the law having been sworn at and the next step would of been arrest time. The original catalyst to this whole incident a middle aged chap was most obnoxcious drunk demanding that that I obtain the name of the doorstaff as it was his right in law. He knew this because he was a banker. Now believe me I resisted the temptation to make a comment on rhyming slang.

He attended the station in the same vein and I sent him on his way, however he rang the next day to speak to the Inspector as he didn't like my attitude. Minor stuff, allegations of rudeness etc are dealt with at the station by a designated Inspector, and cleared away as a consilidated complaints. The Inspector mentioned this in passing in the canteen and I filled him in as to the facts - and that the stag accepted a caution for racially aggravated disorderly conduct. I wasn't bothered as I'd done nothing - do your job inspector and square it away.

A couple of weeks later my Inspector hands me a file, where the complaints Inspector has asked her to speak to me about my conduct. In the file is a letter he's written to the complainant. In this he outlines the basis of the complaint as a fact (stroppy blokes version) and apologises for my conduct before promising that I would be spoken to about my future conduct. So you think we get treated fairly.

I had been clearly libelled by this Inspector who had not spoken to me formally or even spoken to anybody else at the scene who would have confirmed my version. This is the reality of how we get treated. Did I get spoken to - Of course not I refused - We eventually had a facilitated meeting to clear this up, where he explained he had to treat the complaint as the man's version and deal with it accordingly. Load of bullshit - I deal with these matters all the time myself and it's an art how you clear them away. The correct way is to say I'm sorry you've felt the need to come to the station and I 've brought your grievance to the attention of the officer who does not accept it.

He did at least apologise for libelling me and write another bland letter to the complainant stating there had been a meeting. Some honour retrieved but the fat obnoxicious complainant still got what he wanted - or he thinks he did.

Did I say I'd be helpful and write a letter - I've changed my mind - lets see what happens.


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Anonymous said...

I am not a police officer but I agree with the officer that he was treated unfairly. You cant ask officers to stand up to loutish behaviour and then take seriously every complaint made by the lout. Having seen the disgraceful behaviour of individuals and their attitude towards police or any other authority my sympathy is with the frontline officers. Unfortunately bad management is a feature in many areas of public service and the police is no exception. Police have no protection from malicious and unjustified complaints. Be assured the majority of the public are behind the front line police but not the wasteful internal affairs police.Forei se