POLICE COMPLAINTS - CHESHIRE BUCKS THE TREND
Members of the Police Authority today congratulated the Constabulary on the continued reduction in complaints and the on-going action to improve the conduct of Cheshire police officers. Chairman of the Authority’s Staff Committee Ruth McNeil said, “I am very pleased that at a time when the conduct of police officers is under scrutiny, the people of Cheshire can feel more confident knowing that Officers in Cheshire are less likely to give concern or cause for complaint.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission Report (IPCC) of 24 September 2009 published the annual police complaints statistics and showed that despite a national increasing trend in complaints against the police, the Constabulary has performed extremely well and has continued to demonstrate a reduction in complaints year-on-year.
Nationally, the number of complaints has increased from 28,963 to 31,259 – up by 8%, but, in Cheshire, the number of complaints decreased from 524 to 436 – down 17%.
One complaint can involve a number of separate allegations and in Cheshire, allegations decreased from 844 to 633 – down 25%.
Allegations regarding neglect or failure of duty were down from 220 to 121 (45%), and allegations relating to incivility were down from 181 to 156 (14%).
The allegations were dealt with in a variety of ways, with 33% being formally investigated and 43% dealt with where the complainant was given an explanation or apology. Of the allegations that were investigated, 3% were substantiated, compared with a national average of 10%.
Ruth McNeil added, “Part of the success of the Constabulary has been due to a holistic approach involving staff training, a culture of customer focus and robust monitoring processes. We know that the figures for Cheshire can still be improved and we are working with the Constabulary to ensure that people can feel confident in the police service they receive. Part of this process means ensuring that officers consider the impact of their actions carefully and understand the need for people to be satisfied if they come into contact with the police. ”