Complaints and Professional Standards

Our role?

The Authority carries out a number of roles in relation to professional standards and complaints including receiving and investigating complaints against;

  • the Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constables
  • BTPA Members and Executive staff

The Authority also has an important role to play in the oversight of the numbers and handling of BTP complaints.

The Authority also manages and monitors the Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) scheme arrangements for all BTP’s custody facilities.

The information we use

The following is the range of information we use in responding to, analysing and making decisions about a range of professional standards matters, including complaints made against the senior officers and staff of the British Transport Police (BTP).

Items marked with an asterisk (*) will be added to this page shortly.

Information used

What this information tells us

See this information

Senior officer complaints policy

This policy establishes which complaints about BTP officers the Authority can handle and how these complaints will be handled. This provides clarity to the public about the current complaints process and the levels of service all complainants should expect from BTPA in response to complaints. It also means that there is a clear process which the BTPA understands it must follow in handling these complaints. PolicyEquality Impact Assessment

Complaints received by BTPA

The following data shows the number of complaints received by BTPA in the last calendar year, including the number forwarded to BTP for investigation and those investigated by BTPA (IPCC referrals)The number of complaints received and investigated by BTPA is generally so small that it is not meaningful for us to try to monitor the demographics of complainants. However the nature of complaints is monitored, including allegations of discriminatory behaviour. Policy and appendices2011 complaints analysis

Complaints file dip sampling protocol

The purpose of the Authority’s dip-sampling activity is to scrutinise the performance of the Force’s complaints management processes.  Review of BTP complaints files includes an independent assessment of whether BTP responded to requests for assistance with making complaints. Issues arising from the file review are discussed by members and captured in the minutes and actions of Performance and Delivery Committee meetings. Click here

BTPA business cycle

People who like bananas
People who like apples

Sections 3.2 and 7.8 of the business cycle sets out where and how the Authority has agreed that it will carry out detailed oversight of BTP and BTPA’s activities in relation to complaints. This provides clarity for internal staff and members of the public about how and where complaints matters are scrutinised and reported.

Business cycle

People and Standards Committee

Carries out the detailed oversight of BTP and BTPA’s activities on behalf of the Authority in relation to handling complaints, conduct, grievances, tribunals and civil claims. The quarterly report to the Committee includes data on the numbers and types of complaints received and analysis of the ethnicity of complainants and subjects of complaint on an annual basis. The data also includes details of complaints where an equality issue has been identified as part of the complaint. The Committee also receives details of grievance (internal complaints) matters which includes some personal data so these papers are currently restricted. Details of discussions around grievances, including variances by ethnicity and gender are captured in the minutes of the meetings. Agenda, meeting papers and minutes

ICV scheme

BTPA is not currently covered by the legislation which requires local policing bodies to maintain panels of independent custody visitors (ICV). However we believe that professional and fair treatment of detainees is an important public confidence issue and in the interests of transparency BTPA decided to develop its own scheme. Our policy sets why and how we operate the ICV scheme for BTP custody facilities. Quarterly reports from the ICVs are received at the People and Standards Committee. PolicyEquality Impact AssessementICV reports (Oct’11)

BTPA members of police misconduct panels

The BTPA in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Corporation of London (the appropriate authority for the City of London Police) and the Ministry of Defence Police Committee shares a list of independent members who can sit on police misconduct hearings. These members increase the transparency and objectivity of this process both for the officer concerned and for the public. Click

External sources of information

IPCC annual report– this includes data on the demographics of people making complaints about the police in each year – this allows BTPA to compare BTP’s complaints rates with those of the rest of England & Wales. IPCC lessons learned reports Other relevant reports will be posted here

Gaps in our equality information

None identified at present but will be kept under review.