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Wednesday 24th October 2012 | 00:01
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is upholding an increasing proportion of appeals from people unhappy with the way their complaint has been handled by forces, new statistics released today reveal.
The Police Complaints: Statistics for England and Wales 2011/12 report shows that the number of appeals from dissatisfied complainants has increased, and that the IPCC is upholding an increasing proportion of those appeals.
• the number of appeals (6,339) increased by 3 per cent from the
• the proportion of successful appeals against the police’s
failure to record a complaint rose to 61 per cent
• the proportion of successful appeals against local police
investigation of complaints rose to 31 per cent, a considerable
increase from previous years
• the overall proportion of successful appeals also rose, to 38
The report also shows considerable inconsistency between forces, in the number of complaints they record, the number they uphold, and the number of successful appeals to the IPCC about whether complaints are recorded and how they have been dealt with.
The number of complaints is not in itself significant – a high number can be a sign of confidence and ability to complain; a low number may indicate either higher satisfaction or limited access or confidence.
Of greater importance is how forces deal with complainants. In spite of new statutory guidance in 2010, encouraging forces to consider the standard of service provided, rather than a narrow assessment of whether there had been misconduct, the overall proportion of complaints that forces themselves uphold remains at a low 12 per cent.
Dame Anne Owers, Chair of the IPCC, said: "It is of concern that not only has there been an increase in the number of appeals to the IPCC from those dissatisfied with the way their complaint was handled; there has also been a considerable increase in the proportion of appeals that we uphold.
"All Chief Constables should take personal interest in the findings of this report and assure themselves that they and their staff are meeting their obligations to record and resolve valid complaints from the public. In particular, they should look closely at the number and type of appeals upheld by the IPCC.”