More complaints against police

THE number of complaints against West Yorkshire Police has increased for the second consecutive year.

Figures released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) showed that West Yorkshire Police recorded 940 complaints against its officers - an increase of four per cent on the previous year.

Those complaints contained 1824 allegations - an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year.

These figures contrasted with a national trend which saw overall complaints fall by 4 per cent.

West Yorkshire Police’s top three areas for allegations were around incivility (328 allegations), other neglect of duty (310 allegations) and other assault (314 allegations).

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: “West Yorkshire Police’s complaints figures reflected an increase while the national statistics have shown a fall. There is no clear reason why this should be the case and I am sure the force will want to examine this further.

“It is evident that some improvements are still needed in how the force records complaints. The IPCC has upheld 57 per cent of the appeals it has received against West Yorkshire Police’s decisions not to record complaints.

“That level is disappointing and detracts from the excellent work the force has done elsewhere with complaints. I hope to see an improvement in this area next year.”

The number of non-recording appeals upheld against the force reflected a trend in England and Wales which has prompted concerns from the IPCC.

The figures reveal that over 6000 people made an appeal to the IPCC because they were unhappy with the way their complaint had been handled by their local police force.

Close to 1,200 of them appealed because the force had not recorded their complaints. The IPCC found in favour of the complainant in nearly sixty per cent of those cases, requiring local forces to reconsider the complaint in over 600 cases.

IPCC Deputy Chair Deborah Glass said: “We have, within the past year, launched a campaign to encourage the police to ‘get it right first time’. For many complaints this means recording them and dealing with them properly at a local level.

“So often it is about listening to people about where they feel the police service has failed them and providing an explanation or an apology where something has gone wrong.”