FEEDBACK FROM COMPLAINANTS
The PCC surveys all those who receive a ruling or whose complaint is settled by mediation. We also request feedback from all individuals whose cases were investigated (meaning that we wrote to the editor because the complaint appeared to have merit) even if they did not ultimately pursue their complaints.
In 2012, people responded to our survey, which is carried out anonymously. Results were generally positive, especially when it is considered that over half of those who sent us their feedback did not have their complaints upheld by the PCC. In 2012:
Following last year's independent Governance Review, the PCC has committed to a new set of performance objectives. As part of this process, we have revamped our complainant feedback questionnaire. The results should enable deeper analysis and provide us with improved information about the experiences of those who use the Commission's services.
The PCC welcomes constructive feedback from complainants and builds on the suggestions and comments it receives, some of which are critical, to continually strive to improve its services.
Here are some perspectives of those who have made formal complaints to the PCC:
"I would also like to say on behalf of the family that the service and response received to our complaint, by [PCC staff] was exemplary and your professional and considerate approach to such a sensitive matter was most appreciated."
"Thanks again, if only all the other complaint bodies I have been dealing with were as speedy and efficient as yourselves! Thanks for resolving this so quickly."
"My mother and I would like to express our utmost gratitude and thank you for your continuous efforts in providing us with a positive outcome regarding this issue, had it not been for your persistent work I doubt very much we'd have got this far so thank you very much."
"I was extremely pleased with your service. Your staff were efficient, helpful and the whole matter dealt with in good time."
"The helpline was a most helpful and well-informed service. Advice was straightforward and clear."
"I was pleased that [the] PCC were so swift and helpful. My complaint was not solved as I would have hoped but the PCC did as much as they could and I am grateful!"
"Obviously those complaining are often hurt or angry - the kind manner of your staff makes the process less stressful and it is appreciated."
"Refreshing to communicate with people clearly intent on being honest and reaching a balanced [resolution] to issues."
The PCC also deals a lot with pre-publication concerns, especially in order to prevent harassment by journalists and broadcasters. This service is entirely confi dential to the complainant, with the purpose of minimising harm in a discreet fashion. People who have used this service have said the following:
"Many thanks for your help in this matter, I am very pleased about [the newspaper's decision not to publish] and can now give a sigh of relief - for now."
"Thank you for your email, with attachment. I have passed the information on to the family and they appreciate both your concern, and your help in providing the briefi ng note. To date, the family are happy with the sensitive way in which the media have responded to their wishes. Should that position change, or if we require further information, I will contact you."
"I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for your help yesterday. The local Police Community Support Officer contacted me earlier to say that as far as the officers could see, no members of the press turned up at the funeral which will have been a big relief for the family."
"Thank you for your help. I feel better now I know I can be left alone to give my husband all the support he deserves to get him out of hospital and home to his family where he belongs."
"I'm very relieved to say that in the story printed on Mon 18th Jan, I was not mentioned by name [as a victim of violent crime]. I haven't seen anything published anywhere else as yet."
NB: Information about the results of surveys of public opinion of the PCC can be found here. This research is based on the opinions of the UK general public as a whole, rather than members of the public who have necessarily used the PCC’s service.