Suffolk Police receive fewer complaints

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Complaints against Suffolk Police fell by 12 per cent last year, new figures have revealed.

National police complaints statistics, released this week by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), show a total of 289 complaints were made against Suffolk Police in 2015/16, a drop of 12 per cent on the previous year.

They also show the total number of appeals made by dissatisfied complainants was 85 – the same number as the year before.

The IPCC found little consistency in the way police forces handle complaints, with some choosing to handle them through an informal local resolution process, where fewer appeals are upheld, and others choosing formal investigation.

In Suffolk, 57 per cent of cases were investigated and 31 per cent were dealt with through local resolution where 12 per cent of appeals (five out of 42) were upheld.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: “We take all complaints extremely seriously and are committed to investigating them rigorously, in line with national guidelines.”

She added: “Nationally there has been an eight per cent decrease on the year before, which the IPCC has acknowledged is the first reduction since the definition of a complaint was broadened in 2012/13, and within Suffolk we have seen a 12 per cent fall.

“It’s important to view the number of complaints received in context. As a front-line public service, we have hundreds of interactions with people needing our help on a daily basis – and the vast majority of these do not result in any form of complaint.

“We want to offer a service which not only reduces crime but also inspires trust and confidence. As such, we will continue to focus on reducing complaints both through issuing guidance, and training officers and staff.”

To view the IPCC statistics in full, click here.