Dyfed-Powys Police criticised by IPCC over complaints

Dyfed-Powys Police have been criticised by a police watchdog for taking too long to record complaints.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said Dyfed-Powys's performance last year was poor compared to the other three Welsh forces.

Figures show that in 42% of cases Dyfed-Powys took more than 10 working days to record a complaint compared to a UK average of 13%.

The force said they had since changed the way complaints were recorded.

The IPCC has published the complaint statistics for police forces in Wales and England for 2010/11 and said they showed "a generally good picture in Wales" except for Dyfed-Powys.

It also said the time taken by Dyfed-Powys to finalise complaint cases increased last year to 147 working days, 40 working days longer than the average.

Tom Davies, the IPCC commissioner for Wales, said: "These figures are disappointing and I have met with the force on a number of occasions to discuss their performance statistics and the need to improve their performance at dealing with complaints.

'Satisfaction levels'

"I know that they are now focussing on these issues and giving them urgent attention."

The IPCC said slow response to complaints was a "great frustration" to people who should have had their complaint "recognised, accepted and dealt with properly at a local level."

In a statement the force said since last year's figures were recorded it had introduced a new computerised system which had significantly improved performance.

Dyfed-Powys said between July and September this year 85% of cases were recorded within 10 days.

They said they had also reduced the time it took to finalise complaint cases and said they had one of the highest levels of satisfaction with the outcome of complaints in Wales and England.

It said: "As a force, we are extremely proud of the time and effort that is put into dealing with complaints and for us, the most important measures are the levels of satisfaction of the complainants, organisational improvement and the low levels of appeals that are upheld in our decision making."

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