Thursday, 24 June 2010

IPCC ref 2007/002910 on Police Failure to record a complaint, JUSTICE WIN!

IPCC = Independent Police Complaints Commission (UK)
IPCC Assessment of Failure To Notify Or Record A Complaint Appeal


      IPCC Reference:


      Name of complainant:

    Mr Elad Shetreet

      Name of solicitor / agent (if any):

    Not Applicable

      Name of force:

    Metropolitan Police

      Date of complaint:

    24th February 2007

      Date of force decision:

    10th April 2007

      Date appeal received:

    28th May 2009

      Casework Manager:

    Neil Jasper

1.  The complaint:

On 24th February 2007, Mr Elad Shetreet made a complaint to the Metropolitan Police in an e-mail.  He alleged that police officers had made fraudulent claims about him to Mental Health services, so that he would be sectioned and thus prevented from bringing a civil case against the Metropolitan Police.  Mr Shetreet stated that the police had falsely accused him of sexual harassment and convinced Mental Health services in Brent to section him.  He believed that the police arranged for him to be incarcerated for purely political reasons.
2.  The appeal (grounds given etc):

On 28th May 2009, Mr Shetreet wrote to the IPCC.  He stated that he had never received any response to the complaint that he had made in 2007 about the Metropolitan Police and FTAC (the Fixed Threat Assessment Centre).  Therefore, he lodged an appeal against the force for failing to respond to his complaint.


   1. Did the force / authority fail to make a decision?

The force or authority must make a decision whether they are the appropriate authority for the complaint within 10 days

The background documents that I have received from the Metropolitan Police show that they responded to Mr Shetreet’s complaint.  DI Glenn Tunstall wrote a letter to Mr Shetreet on 10th April 2007 to inform him that the police were not recording his complaint.

However, this letter was sent to the Park Royal Detention Centre.  Mr Shetreet was detained at this location on 24th February 2007, when he made his complaint.  However, the papers on our files reveal that he was released from the detention facility on 19th March 2007, following a decision from the UK Mental Health Tribunal.  Therefore, DI Tunstall’s letter was sent to the Park Royal Detention Centre after Mr Shetreet left it; he did not receive the response.

In the IPCC’s manuals, casework managers are advised to check whether forces have made reasonable efforts to contact a complainant at the correct address, considering, for example, whether the complainant may or may not be in custody at the time of attempted contact.

Therefore, I must conclude that the Metropolitan Police did not make a decision within ten days, and that decision was not communicated to Mr Shetreet.  The IPCC’s guidance states that, if a complainant is not informed about the non-recording of his complaint and his right of appeal, then his appeal will be in time no matter how much time has passed since the decision was made.  Therefore, I must conclude that this appeal is not out of time.

Summary Appeal Assessment: Upheld

   2. Did the force / authority fail to notify the appropriate authority?

If a complaint is made to an incorrect force or authority they are obliged to forward the matter onto the appropriate authority

Mr Elad Shetreet did not send his complaint to an incorrect force or authority.  Therefore, this ground of appeal does not apply to this case.

Summary Appeal Assessment: Not Upheld

   3. Should the matter raised have been recorded as a complaint?

As DI Tunstall stated in his letter of 10th April 2007, a public complaint is defined in the Police Reform Act and it is “any complaint about the conduct of a person serving with the police.  It may be about, for example, behaviour, inappropriate language, actions or omissions.”

However, I cannot agree with DI Tunstall’s view that clear allegations of misconduct cannot be identified in Mr Shetreet’s original complaint.  As the letter mentioned, Mr Shetreet was alleging that police officers had made fraudulent claims about Mr Shetreet to Mental Health services; this is a complaint about the actions of people serving with the police.

DI Tunstall may have investigated this allegation and found that the evidence did not support it, but that would be a reason not to substantiate the matter. Complaints should be recorded on the basis of what is being alleged, rather than whether the evidence supports the claim.

As a result, I must conclude that Mr Shetreet’s complaint should have been recorded.

Summary Appeal Assessment: Upheld

   4. Has the complainant raised any points outside what the IPCC can consider?

If any points have been raised which are outside of the appeal, they should be acknowledged here.


On the basis of this assessment I have decided to uphold the appeal.


As a result of my conclusions above, I must direct that the Metropolitan Police should record Mr Shetreet’s complaint of 24th February 2007, and reply to the complaint, sending any letter to Mr Shetreet’s current address.

No comments: