Request a review – CO/00291/22
The Independent Review Officer OPCC for Gloucestershire
Communication is preferred by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank-you for your letter 31st March 2022 (CO/00291/22) responding to the complaint from Stroud Against Racism (SAR) on the 31st January 2022.
This response (25th April 2022) is available online at https://write.as/mjwmho8u5qs3gggz.md and a pdf copy is submitted with the e-mail to email@example.com
We (SAR CIC) request a review by an independent review officer as our complaint (31st January 2022) has not been responded to reasonably. We believe that the service, relating to areas covered by the complaint, provided by the police, is not acceptable.
You have cited, in your response, an e-mail dated 13th November 2021 from the Chief Insp. to Mr Kitchen. This was in response to a document that Mr Kitchen, sent in a personal capacity, to the Chair of the Police & Crime Panel at Gloucestershire County Council on 26th Oct 2021. It was clearly marked as such, it was not a complaint and was not related to SAR CIC.
There has been no contact from the Chief Insp./Supt. seeking our view on how our formal complaint, of the 31st January 2022, was to be handled. We did however outline four steps for preferred local resolution towards the end of the document.
Your response alleges that Mr Kitchen made the decision to leave the Stop & Search Panel. Although the issue was not raised in our complaint, he did not 'leave' or resign, he was forced off the panel because of a constabulary decision to 100% mandate a confidentiality agreement. Mr Kitchen (and SAR CIC) were clearly and demonstrably adversely affected by this decision. He made it clear that he would not be able to discharge his responsibilities by submitting to such an agreement. I attach Mr Kitchen's final e-mail to the Supt. on the matter.
Consequently, the directors of SAR CIC were left with no option but to submit the January 2022 formal complaint to (re)establish proper working community oversight of Stop & Search, for SAR CIC or any other appropriate community group, through the SSSP (Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel) inline with Home Office best practice (BUSSS). Items 1,2&4 of our complaint have not been recognised or addressed in your response.
We have attached the Home Office Best Use Guidence as it is the crux of the original complaint. Note that the constabulary has introduced clauses into its the SSSP Terms of Reference (most notably 7.5) which negates compliance with the best use scheme and can delay community scrutiny for up to two years.
We understand, to the best of our knowledge, that no Stop & Search complaints have ever come before the SSSP. Also, there are still eight or nine outstanding Stop & Search complaints from 2021 about which the SSSP has no knowledge. With the Child-Q case recently in national headlines, this is an unacceptable state of affairs.
As 30 days have elapsed, since submission, we have lifted the public embargo on this complaint and have now discussed it with our MP, local district and county councillors.
Our local MP feels that a meeting is not appropriate at this stage. However, local county and district councillors are supportive. Trusting that the constabulary embraces a culture of continuous improvement and reflection we think that a meeting with the constabulary along with councillors (either separate or in parallel to this complaint) would be the best route for local resolution.
Sent electronically, so unsigned
Stroud Against Racism