Sharp rise in number of police complaints

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COMPLAINTS against Warwickshire Police officers increased by 20 per cent this year - compared with a 4 per cent decrease in complaints nationally.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced last Friday that 306 complaints against officers were filed in 2010/11, compared with 256 in the previous year. The total number of allegations contained within the Warwickshire force complaints was 640, up from 608 the previous year.

Warwickshire Police said that since a new policing model was introduced in April this year, complaints were significantly down.

A police spokesman said: “The force recognises that there was a significant increase in the number of complaints made by members of the public during 2010/11 and that a high proportion of the allegations were about the quality of service provided - neglect, or other failure of duty. This was addressed during a major organisational review of the force structure which led to a new policing model coming into operation on May 9.

“In the period April to September 2011 there was a 28 per cent reduction compared with the same period last year, with focus now being given to early intervention in an effort to try and resolve issues raised by members of the public as quickly as possible.”

The IPCC also upheld five of seven appeals (71 per cent) in 2010/11 from members of the public against Warwickshire Police for not initially recording their complaint – effectively instructing the force to look again at those complaints. This compares to 58 per cent of non-recording appeals being upheld nationally.

IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “The police complaints system set up by Parliament in 2004 places the responsibility on the police to deal with the vast majority of complaints themselves – and the public have a right to expect that they will do so efficiently and effectively.”