Cheshire Police force complaints increase

Complaints about Cheshire Police officers have risen by 10% over the last year, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has said.

The rise, the first significant increase for three years, contrasts with the national trend which saw complaints against forces drop by 4%.

Cheshire Police recorded 476 complaints against its officers in 2010/11.

The force said the rise was due to people feeling "more confident" about raising concerns.

The top three areas for allegations against Cheshire Police officers were for incivility, assault and neglect of duty.

'Put it right'

Cheshire Police head of professional standards John Armstrong said: "Cheshire Constabulary has always been committed to being open and transparent with the public and to making it easier for people to access the complaints system in order to raise concerns about the conduct of our staff or quality of service provided.

"I therefore do not look upon last year′s 10% increase in recorded complaints as a negative thing.

"We have also responded responsibly to the changes in the IPCC guidance in how complaints are assessed.

"I also see the increase as a reflection that people feel more confident to raise concerns with the force so we can look into it and understand what has gone wrong and how it can be put right."

IPCC commissioner Ms Naseem Malik said: "After a period of stagnation in Cheshire Constabulary's complaints statistics it is interesting to see that, contrary to the national trend, the figures for 2010/11 have shown a notable increase.

"There is no obvious explanation for this and I am sure it is something the force will be looking into."

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