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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

September 24, 2009: Police: Complaints Rising

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has just published its statistics detailing complaints made by members of the public against police.

During 2008/09, complaints rose by 8% from the previous year to 31,259. In total, the number of complaints has risen by approximately 8,000 since 2004/05 when the IPCC first became responsible for collecting the data.

As in previous years most complaints are about 'neglect of duty' (24%) and 'incivility' (21%), essentially being rude and late. The proportion of all allegations that are substantiated is 10%.

The 35 page Complaints Statistics document includes the volume, type and outcome of complaints, as well providing data concerning the complainant. Every police force in England and Wales is included and the document provides comparative data from previous years. The data is not broken down to borough/divisional levels within forces.

The report includes the following statistics:

  • The number of complaints has increased from 28,963 to 31,259 – up 8%.
  • One complaint can involve a number of allegations. Allegations increased from 48,280 to 53,534 – up 11%.
  • Complaints about stop and search numbered 680, up 124 (27%) from the previous year. More than one million stop and searches were conducted last year, but a complaint regarding stop and search would only be recorded as such if it breached Police and Criminal Evidence Act or other relevant legislation, otherwise it would be recorded in alternative category such as incivility.
  • Neglect or failure of duty and incivility accounted for the largest rise in allegations, up approximately 2,000 collectively.
  • The next largest field, ‘other assault’, has fallen from making up 25% of allegations in 2004/05 to 13% in 2008/09.
  • The 1,519 allegations of discrimination represent 3% of all allegations – 76% of the allegations concerned race.
    62% of all complaint cases were completed – a figure that has remained largely the same over the last decade.
  • 55% of all officers complained about have less than ten years service.

Also published today is data from research conducted as part of the British Crime Survey (BCS) 2006/07. More than a quarter of BCS respondents said they had been ‘really annoyed’ by their contact with police.

Reviewing the year’s statistics, IPCC Chair Nick Hardwick said:

"At a time when politicians and the police are debating public confidence in the police and how to make them more accountable, the complaint figures published today give a strong indication of what the public want sorted out. Complaints about rude and late officers consistently top complaint categories and work to address this can have a positive impact.

"The public recognise the police have a difficult job to do. However, this does not alter the fact that they expect officers to do their job politely and efficiently. These statistics show that when it is not done in this manner they are likely to complain.”

The IPCC is currently consulting on changes to its 'Statutory Guidance' - the rules about how the complaint system should operate. The aim of which will be to create a simpler and less bureaucratic system.

IPCC Chair Nick Hardwick said:

"We want to make sure the system focuses on sorting out complainants' concerns and putting things right. People accept things will sometimes go wrong and on these occasions they do not necessarily want to see an officer punished. But what they do want is for the mistake to be acknowledged and not repeated, put right if possible and an apology or explanation given.”

The BCS survey also found that of the 27% of people who had been ‘really annoyed’ by their contact with the police, only 10% made a complaint. Findings from the BCS and previous IPCC research show that those who don’t complain are likely to be young people and those from BME communities, although their confidence appears to be growing.

Nick Hardwick added:

"The overall increase in the number of complaints reflects growing confidence in the system and more consistent complaint recording standards. We want to make sure all sections of society have confidence. If the police are to enjoy the confidence of the public it is important they hear from all communities about their experience of policing – good and bad.”