Complaints against Lancashire Constabulary have fallen, according to statistics released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The IPCC’s Police Complaints Statistics for 2010/11 showed Lancashire Constabulary recorded 807 complaints against its officers – a drop of 15% on the previous year. Those complaints contained 1,421 allegations – a fall of 30% on 2009/10.
Reflecting the findings nationally, the top three areas for allegations against the force were around incivility (262 allegations), assault (173) and neglect of duty (336).
However, an area for concern for the IPCC was the number of appeals the organisation has upheld against Lancashire Constabulary’s decisions not to record complaints against its officers. Out of 44 appeals submitted to the IPCC, 26 were upheld – 59% of the number received.
IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: “Following a 13% rise in complaints in 2009/10, a fall of 15% in 2010/11 is a positive move and I hope reflects improvements in the interaction between the police and public in Lancashire.
“However, it is evident some improvements are still needed in how the force records complaints. The IPCC has upheld 59% of the appeals it has received against Lancashire Constabulary decisions not to record complaints. That level is disappointing and detracts from the good 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 national trend which has prompted concerns from the IPCC.
The figures reveal more than 6,000 people made an appeal to the IPCC because they were unhappy with the way their complaint had been handled. The IPCC found in favour of the complainant in nearly 60% of those cases, requiring local forces to reconsider the complaint in over 600 cases.
IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass said: “I’m disappointed to see a year-on-year increase in the number of people who have contacted us to say their complaint was rejected by their local police force and it’s completely unacceptable that in six out of 10 cases we’re finding this to be the case. This is not only of great frustration to the people who should have had their complaint recognised, accepted and dealt with properly at a local level, but it’s a waste of time and resources for everyone involved.”