Police Complaints Commissioner

Geoff KarranThe Police Complaints Commissioner is responsible for overseeing the investigation of complaints made to the Department of Home Affairs regarding the Isle of Man Constabulary.

Local advocate Geoff Karran MBE TH was appointed Police Complaints Commissioner with effect from 1 March 2009. 

The role of the commissioner is to supervise the investigation by a senior police officer of any complaint of a serious nature against police officers of the Isle of Man Constabulary and where it appears to him to be desirable in the public interest to do so, to supervise the investigation of any other formal complaint against a police officer.

The authority for the appointment and the full duties of the commissioner are set out in Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1993. The Act disqualifies any person who has been a member of any police force (in the Island or elsewhere) or who is a member of the Council of Ministers or the House of Keys.

The work of the commissioner is complex and the legal complexities have increased in recent years. There is no requirement for the commissioner to have a legal background but because of the complexities it is beneficial. However, it may not be necessary for an Acting Commissioner hearing only one case to have a legal background.

The total number of cases supervised by the commissioner in recent years is as follows:

  • 2000-2001: 24 complaints
  • 2001-2002: 34 complaints
  • 2002-2003: 30 complaints
  • 2003-2004: 16 complaints
  • 2004-2005: 29 complaints
  • 2005-2006: 20 complaints
  • 2006-2007: 20 complaints
  • 2007-2008: 28 complaints
  • 2008-2009: 23 complaints
  • 2009-2010: 20 complaints
  • 2010-2011: 30 complaints
  • 2011-2012: 27 complaints
  • 2012-2013: 23 complaints
  • 2013-2014: 21 complaints
  • 2014-2015: 15 complaints
  • 2015-2016: 5 complaints
  • 2016-2017: 8 complaints

It must be stressed that the commissioner’s role is to supervise the investigations and not to investigate complaints, that remains the responsibility of senior police officers. The Department of Home Affairs has undertaken a review of the complaints procedure and the role of the commissioner will change in due course. Tynwald approved the Department's proposed new system of handling police complaints at its sitting in July 2010. A report outlining the new process can be found above. The Police (Amendment) Act 2016 provided for changes to the process of appointing the Police Complaints Commissioner and made provision for the police to be able to 'self-refer' conduct matters to the police complaints commissioner for consideration. The Department is currently developing the necessary secondary legislation to enable this provision to be brought into operation.

The Police Complaints Commissioner can be contacted direct at the address below.

Police Complaints Commissioner

PO Box 12

Peel

Isle of Man

IM99 9XS

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