Professional Standards Department

The Professional Standards department is responsible for dealing with complaints about police officers and staff from the public and colleagues, and investigating misconduct within the force.

We are fortunate to have supportive communities helping us to keep South Wales safe, and we expect our staff to act with integrity and professionalism so you receive a high quality service and have a police service you can be proud of.

We want all members of the public, including colleagues, to feel they can report any misconduct or dishonesty openly.

Standards of Professional Behaviour

On 1st December 2008 new Police Officer Standards of Professional Behaviour were introduced throughout England and Wales.

The Standards reflect the expectation that the police service and our local communities have of how police officers should act whether on or off duty. Public confidence in the police depends upon police officers and police staff demonstrating the highest level of personal professional standards of behaviour.

The Standards cover:

- Honesty and Integrity
- Authority, Respect and Courtesy
- Equality and Diversity
- Use of Force
- Orders and Instructions
- Duties and Responsibilities
- Confidentiality
- Fitness for Duty
- Discreditable Conduct
- Challenging / Reporting Improper Conduct

The Standards outlined above enable everybody to know what type of conduct by a police officer or member of police staff is acceptable. If you believe that the conduct of a police officer or police staff member is unacceptable, we would invite you to make contact with us.

Code of Ethics

The College of Policing developed the Code of Ethics on behalf of every member of the policing profession of England and Wales. The work was carried out by the College’s Integrity Programme in association with the national policing leads for Ethics and Professional Standards and a wide range of key stakeholders, including Chief Constables, PCCs, oversight bodies, staff associations and trade unions, and police practitioners.

The College of Policing has issued the Code of Ethics as a code of practice under section 39A of the Police Act 1996 (as amended by section 124 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014).

The aim of this Code of Ethics is to support each member of the policing profession to deliver the highest professional standards in their service to the public and is a Code of Practice for the Principles and Standards of Professional Behaviour for the Policing Profession of England and Wales

The College of Policing has arrived at nine policing principles which are built on the Nolan principles for public life, with the addition of ‘Fairness’ and ‘Respect’.

The nine policing principles are:

• Accountability
• Integrity
• Openness
• Fairness
• Leadership
• Respect
• Honesty
• Objectivity
• Selflessness

These principles underpin and strengthen the existing procedures and regulations for ensuring standards of professional behaviour for both police officers and police staff.

This gives the profession and the public the confidence that there is a system in place to respond appropriately if anyone believes that the expectations of the Code of Ethics have not been met.

Breaches of the Code of Ethics will not always involve misconduct or require disciplinary proceedings.

Breaches will range from relatively minor shortcomings in conduct, performance or attendance through to gross misconduct and corruption.

Different procedures exist according to the type of unprofessional behaviour or misconduct alleged.

How can I make a complaint?

To make a complaint about the service you received from South Wales Police, or to report an integrity issue about a member of the force, please contact us. This can be done by a variety of means:

Online: Complete our Complaints Form.

In writing: Complete our Complaint regarding the conduct of a member of South Wales Police Form (Plain text Word document) and return by post or email to us.

By post:
Professional Standards Department
South Wales Police Headquarters
Cowbridge Road
CF31 3SU

Email: professional.standards@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

By phone: Please call 101, the non-emergency telephone number

South Wales Police employees can also use the ‘Integrity Line’ to report any concerns. Call 02920 571599.

In person: You can complain in person at a police station

By a third party: You can ask someone to make your complaint on your behalf, but we will need a copy of your authorisation in writing.

For example, you could contact your solicitor or MP or local Assembly Member.

Alternatively, you could visit your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or other Gateway organisations such as Race Equality First.

An alternative option for registering your complaint is through the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) logo

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and sets the standards by which the police should handle complaints. It is independent, making its decisions entirely independently of the police and government. It is not part of the police, and the IPCC must forward complaints to the relevant Force once received to consider in the first instance. Police forces deal with the majority of complaints against police officers and police staff. The IPCC considers appeals from people who are dissatisfied with the way a police force has dealt with their complaint.

Contacting Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC):

Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
M33 0BW

Telephone: 0300 020 0096 (press 2 at prompt) Lines are open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. For our joint protection and training purposes calls may be recorded.

Email: enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk

Online: IPCC Online enquiry form

Appealing against the way the police have handled your complaint

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) logo

If you have made a complaint against the police and you are not happy with the way it has been handled, you may be able to appeal to either the Appropriate Authority in South Wales Police or to the IPCC.

There are five different types of appeal:
• Appeals against a complaint not being recorded
• Appeals against a decision to ‘disapply’ your complaint (i.e. a decision not to investigate your complaint)
• Appeals against a decision to ‘discontinue’ your complaint (i.e. a decision to stop investigating your complaint after an investigation has started)
• Appeals against the local resolution process or outcome
• Appeals against the police investigation into your complaint

For more information please visit the IPCC website appeal pages.

The role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Complaints about the conduct of people serving with the police can be sent to the IPCC, but the IPCC does not have the power to record complaints. If you complain to the IPCC, it must, by law, forward the complaint back to South Wales Police for consideration. Due to the exceptionally high numbers of complaints made to the IPCC, it can take a number of weeks before a complaint is forwarded to South Wales Police. In order to have your complaint dealt with as quickly as possible, we advise you to complain to South Wales Police using one of the methods set out above.

The IPCC also investigates the most serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales. These complaints are referred to the IPCC by police forces. The IPCC may decide to investigate an incident using its own investigators (referred to an Independent Investigation). Alternatively, it can manage or supervise a police investigation into the matter.

The IPCC will only conduct independent investigations into incidents that cause the greatest level of public concern for example deaths in or following police custody.

Further information is available in the IPCC A guide to the police complaints system

Contacting Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
M33 0BW

Telephone: 0300 020 0096 (press 2 at prompt) Lines are open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. For our joint protection and training purposes calls may be recorded.

Email: enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk