Delivering professional standards

The Professional Standards Department (PSD) is the umbrella department within which all 'professional standards' activities are delivered.

This includes the investigation of complaints and misconduct and expressions of dissatisfaction, the handling of civil claims, information management and health and safety issues. The Deputy Chief Constable has overall responsibility for professional standards activities. Complaints and misconduct

The Complaints and Misconduct Unit are responsible for dealing with public complaints as well as internal conduct matters. All complaints are assessed, recorded and either forwarded to the local policing unit or appropriate department for investigation or are investigated by a team of investigators within the unit.

Under-pinning any investigation is the professional standards strategy which is headed by the motto ‘learning, not blame, but honesty and integrity are non-negotiable’ and this is manifested in a culture with learning the lessons in order to improve rather than punishment. We aim to deal with complaints in a timely and efficient way through proportionate investigations, regular updates and a full explanation of the outcome of the investigation.

You can learn more about making a complaint by going to the How to complain page in our advice and information section. Civil claims

The Civil Claims section is the first point of contact for receipt of all claims for compensation made against the Chief Constable.

All claims received in this section are recorded, processed and forwarded for consideration in respect of our public liability and employer liability insurance to our appointed claims handlers or locally appointed solicitors. This section gathers all the information in support of the claim, to enable assessment and investigation of the claim.

Ex-gratia payments for damage to property and doors has now been devolved to the local policing areas. This enables a quick settlement to take place. Data Protection and Information Management section

The Information Management Section covers four distinct areas of work; Data Protection, Auditing, Information Security and Advice and Guidance.

The most common reasons for requests under the Data Protection Act are to assist an individual who is emigrating or has applied for employment or who is involved in a civil court case.

The section also receives and oversees the processing of all requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

As part of the audit process the Force has to ensure that the personal information held is accurate, relevant and up to date and that the systems in which personal information is held are accessed lawfully and the information used appropriately.

The section is also responsible for ensuring the appropriate use of the Police National Computer (PNC). This is achieved by dip sampling PNC transactions on a daily basis and tasking supervisors / line managers to verify the reason(s) given by staff for accessing the system.

Advice and guidance is offered to officers, support staff, outside organisations and members of the public covering a wide range of topics falling within the sections core business areas. Recruitment & Security Vetting Section

This section carries out recruitment and security vetting of all employees and contractors to the force; it also provides a service to the Criminal Records Bureau.

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