Complaints against police force rise by 29 per cent

Library image.
Library image.

The number of complaints lodged against Beds Police rose by 29 per cent in 2013/14.

Latest figures covering police forces across England and Wales have been released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The national average rise in complaints is 15 per cent.

Some of the increase in complaints can be put down to changes to the definition of a ‘complaint’, says the watchdog, which has been broadened beyond just an officer’s conduct to include matters relating to operational policing.

The IPCC report said: “However, the increase also suggests people are less satisfied about their contact with the police than in previous years or they are more willing to complain, or both.”

A complaint case may have one of more allegations attached to it and for 2013/14, Beds Police received 353 complaints with a total of 751 allegations but, to date, just 22 of these allegations have been upheld.

Beds Police Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Trippett said “When compared to other forces, Bedfordshire Police has one of the lowest levels of complaints cases recorded; consistently being in the top 10 of forces receiving the lowest levels of complaints. I attribute this largely to the professionalism of our officers and staff and their determination to protect people and seek justice for victims.”

A complainant has the right to appeal about the way in which a police force has handled their complaint and 38 per cent of appeals against Beds Police in 2013/14 were upheld by the IPCC.