Complaints against South Yorkshire Police went up by a fifth last year – with 459 reported.
The 19 per cent increase was above the national average of 15 per cent for police forces across England and Wales, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The 459 complaints were lodged between 2013 and 2014 and include a total of 988 individual allegations.
A total of 177 allegations were made per 1,000 members of staff employed by South Yorkshire Police, compared to 251 for all forces in England and Wales.
IPCC chiefs say one reason for the increase in complaints last year is the definition being broadened beyond an officer’s conduct to include ‘direction and control’ matters to do with operational policing.
A complainant has the right to appeal about the way in which a police force has handled their complaint.
The IPCC upheld eight appeals out of 22 where people were unhappy South Yorkshire Police had not recorded their complaint, and 14 out of 45 appeals from people unhappy with the police investigation into their complaints.
Detective Superintendent Terry Mann, head of South Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department, said the increase in complaints was ‘disappointing but not altogether unexpected’.
“It is right for the public to expect the highest standards from us and we expect our officers to behave with integrity and professionalism,” he added.
“Our allegations per 1,000 employees is significantly lower than the national average, which is good, but it only takes the actions of a few to tarnish the reputation of those who work incredibly hard every day to protect the public.
“We are always looking to further improve our services and will continue to examine and review our working processes, to ensure they are the best available to the public of South Yorkshire.”
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