Suffolk

Suffolk Police complaints increase by 32%

Complaints against the police rose by 32% in Suffolk in 2009-10, a report has revealed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said 418 people complained, compared with 317 in 2008-09. Nationally complaints rose by 8%.

A complaint case can contain several allegations. In Suffolk they rose from 476 to 867, the IPCC said.

Claims of incivility and neglect of duty rose while allegations about assaults decreased.

Incivility and neglect of duty increased by 89 to 148 and 132 to 337 respectively, and together are known as "rude and late", the IPCC said.

Assault allegations decreased from 43 in 2008-09 to 34.

'Need to improve'

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "Prior to the introduction of the IPCC in 2004, the number of people complaining was falling and later research showed only 10% of people who felt like complaining actually did.

"I believe improved confidence in and access to the complaints system has encouraged those who previously were not inclined to complain that making a complaint is worthwhile.

"The number of 'rude and late' complaints highlights the standards expected of the police service and the need to improve how they interact with the public.

"As part of routine discussion I will raise the complaints figures with Suffolk Police, but it can be difficult to pinpoint any specific reasons for an increase.

"Over a longer period of several years the rise in complaints in Suffolk is in line with the national trend."

Head of Suffolk Police's professional standards, Supt Stuart Sedgwick said: "We have worked hard to improve customer satisfaction and this has included bespoke training and a more structured process to seek and utilise feedback."

Nationally the most common aspect of policing that people complained about remained the same as in previous years, with nearly half of all allegations about incivility or neglecting duties.

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