Rise in complaints about Lancashire cops

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The number of complaints against Lancashire police officers has risen

The total number of complaints against Lancashire Constabulary rose 13% to 877 in 2013/14, compared to an increase of 15% for England and Wales, statistics issued by the Independent Police Complaints Commission today show. The rise follows a decrease of 3% in the force’s recorded complaints in 2012/13.

Some of the increase in 2013/14 is down to the definition of a complaint being broadened beyond an officer’s conduct to include ‘direction and control’ matters to do with operational policing.

A complaint case may have one or more allegations attached to it. A total of 1623 allegations were made against Lancashire Constabulary. Per 1000 employees the force recorded 265 allegations, compared to 251 for all forces in England and Wales.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “I expect all residents to receive the service they want and deserve from Lancashire Constabulary, and it is pleasing to note in context of the number of incidents the force deals with each and every year, the number of complaints remains small.

“The way Lancashire is policed is changing as a result of the budget cuts, and there is a need to change public expectations around policing. The investment in improving the Constabulary’s digital channels should aid that, and improve the ways residents can contact officers, receive updates on their case and improve crimes.

“Importantly, while complaints have gone up slightly across the country, public confidence in Lancashire Constabulary remains high at 91%. This shows the public have confidence in us to respond to emergencies and provide policing when needed.”

The IPCC’s annual complaints report, released this week, said: “By looking at the allegations data, we can see that some of the increase is because of the broadening of the definition of a complaint under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSRA 2011) to include complaints relating to direction and control matters.

“However, the increase also suggests people are less satisfied about their contact with the police than in previous years or they are more willing to complain, or both.

“This is supported by the findings of research commissioned by the IPCC about the public’s confidence in the police complaints system.”

The IPCC said that 37,032 people in police forces were the subject of a complaint, up 6% from 34,897 in 2012/13. Of these 88% (32,873) were serving officers, 73% (27,161) were men and 88% (32,407) were white.