Police facing a huge rise in complaints

Police complaints are up
Police complaints are up
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COMPLAINTS against South Yorkshire Police went up by almost 40 per cent last year, according to latest figures released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Between April 2009 and March last year 613 complaints were lodged against South Yorkshire officers - up 39 per cent on the year before, when 442 complaints were made.

Statistics show the force received the 18th highest number of complaints out of all the UK’s 43 forces.

Among all the complaints a total of 1,154 individual allegations was made - an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year.

The main allegations were about neglect or failure in duty, of which there were 311. Incivility accounted for 225 of the complaints, and 194 alleged assault.

Since April 2004 complaints lodged against South Yorkshire Police have increased by 78 per cent.

Nationally the figures show that last year 33,854 people complained about the police in England and Wales - an eight per cent increase on the previous year - with nearly half the allegations being about officers allegedly neglecting their duties or being rude.

The complaints were made up of 58,399 individual allegations.

The IPCC’s interim chairman, Len Jackson, said: “Last year there was a further increase in the number of people complaining about the police.

“Prior to the introduction of the IPCC in 2004, the number of people complaining was falling and later research showed only 10 per cent of people who felt like complaining actually did.

“I believe improved confidence and access has encouraged those who previously were not inclined to complain that making a complaint is worthwhile.

“The number of complaints alleging ‘rude and late’ behaviour highlights the standards expected of the police service and the need to improve how they interact with the public.

“However, while some aspects can be improved without cost - such as through better leadership - smaller police budgets will present a challenge around levels of service and public expectation in the future.

“This will require forces to develop an open dialogue with the public.”

The majority of police forces across the country experienced an increase in the number of complaints which were lodged against them, according to the figures.