Rise in complaints against Northumbria Police

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The total number of complaints against Northumbria Police rose 98 per cent in 2013/14, compared to an increase of 15 per cent for England and Wales.

The rise to 794 complaints follows a decrease of 41 per cent in the force’s recorded complaints in 2012/13, according to the statistics issued by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) today.

The IPCC says 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 1,501 allegations were made against Northumbria Police.

The force recorded 253 allegations per 1,000 employees, compared to 251 for all forces in England and Wales.

Fifty eight per cent of appeals from the public about the way in which Northumbria Police handled their complaint were upheld by the IPCC, compared to 14 per cent for those considered by the force itself. The overall uphold rate by police forces in England and Wales is 20 per cent, compared with 46 per cent by the IPCC.

The IPCC upheld 19 of 23 appeals where people were unhappy that Northumbria Police had not recorded their complaint, and 50 per cent of 66 appeals from people unhappy with the Northumbria Police investigation into their complaint.

In 2013/14, Northumbria Police finalised 587 complaint cases in an average of 118 working days, compared to an England and Wales average of 101 working days.

Across England and Wales the most common complaints involve allegations that an officer has been neglectful or failed in their duty, or that an officer’s behaviour has been uncivil, impolite or intolerant.