WEST Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion is taking on a new role in police complaints, to improve transparency and public reassurance.

As of this month, PCCs become the legal body responsible for carrying out reviews for police complaints as previously, complaint reviews have been carried out within the police force itself.

The change ensures that reviews are now carried out by an independent body, who will scrutinise whether police complaints were handled and processed properly in the first instance.

Mr Campion said the change is also designed to ensure that complaints can be dealt with quickly, effectively and proportionately, not just for the benefit of the public but also for the police.

"This is a very welcome national reform, which I see as a real opportunity to improve public confidence in policing," said Mr Campion. "That is not to say that our police are not trustworthy, but by adding a degree of separation and independence I hope communities can feel even more reassured that police complaints are being dealt with in a fair, proper and transparent way.

"The changes reinforce and further develops my role in holding the local police force to account on behalf of our local communities.

"I will always work to make sure that any review undertaken will be impartial and will be dealt with in a timely and appropriate way."

For more information on how police complaints are handled please visit www.policeconduct.gov.uk/complaints-and-appeals