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DHA to carry out further review of police complaints procedure 20 July 2007

HOME Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK has requested the Department undertake a further review of the police complaints procedure during the summer recess, following a debate in Tynwald.

A report on the proposed way forward on police complaints was considered by Tynwald in July. Despite support from the majority of Members of the House of Keys, it was felt, particularly in the Legislative Council, that the changes did not provide the level of independence required.

Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘The initial report went out for Members’ comments in April and, other than my discussions with DHA Members and the Council of Ministers, no feedback was received by the Department at that time. However, officers will examine Hansard to enable all Members’ expressed opinions to be taken into consideration before we issue revised proposals. Additionally, Members will be given the opportunity to respond to a further consultation exercise in July/August in order to make us aware of any additional views they may have on the subject. All comments will be considered by the Department before any amendments are made to the way forward report and the revised proposals issued to Members. I intend to come back in the autumn with a revised procedure that I hope will receive support from Tynwald Members.’

Additionally this summer, the Department of Home Affairs will consider in more detail the Northern Ireland police complaints procedure, which includes an ombudsman, for comparison.

‘The difficulty is balancing the calls for a completely independent system with the need to develop an economically proportionate and appropriate independent police complaints procedure for the Isle of Man,’ said Mr Quayle, ‘bearing in mind the small number of complaints we generally receive.’

In recent years the Police Complaints Commissioner has received between 10 and 24 new complaints each year.

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