A total of 795 complaints were recorded against Lancashire Constabulary during 2011/12, figures reveal today.
The figures released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) shows that complaints contained 1,471 allegations and there were 185 appeals to the IPCC about Lancashire Constabulary’s handling of complaints.
The appeals included 113 about the way the force dealt with a complaint investigation, 14 about complaints resolved locally, and 58 about the force’s failure to record a complaint.
The IPCC completed 158 appeals during 2011/12, upholding 72 (46%), higher than the 38% result for England and Wales.
Of particular note was the fact 62% of appeals for Lancashire Constabulary relating to the failure to record a complaint were upheld.
The figures are slightly down when compared to 2010/11, where there were 807 complaints recorded.
Across England and Wales, the IPCC is dealing with an increasing number of appeals from people unhappy with the way their complaints have been handled by forces.
Overall during 2011/12 a total of 6,339 appeals from complainants were made to the IPCC, an increase of 3%. Of those appeals completed by the IPCC, 38% were upheld, 8% up on the previous year.
Dame Anne Owers, chairman of the IPCC, said in relation to the statistics for England and Wales: “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.”
Simon Giles, Head of Professional Standards Department at Lancashire Constabulary said:
“Whilst we are pleased that the number of complaints recorded by the Constabulary continues to show a year on year reduction, above all it is importance to see that people continue to have the confidence to come forward and report their concerns. We are committed to ensuring that high professional standards are maintained and are focussed on delivering a quality of service and getting it right first time.
“On occasions when this does not prove to be the case, we resolve any issues as quickly as possible.”
The total number of complaints recorded by police forces in England and Wales fell for the second consecutive year. The nine per cent fall to 30,143 complaints following a period of sustained growth recorded since the IPCC was created in 2004.