Complaints against police rise

POLICE forces in the Hartlepool and East Durham areas have seen a rise in the number of complaints made to a force watchdog.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report has revealed statistics which show a 22 per cent hike in complaints made against Durham Constabulary and a two per cent rise in those recorded against Cleveland Police.

Durham had 243 gripes reported between 2011-12, compared to 199 from 2010-11.

Cleveland Police had 443 complaints made against it in the period from 2011-12, in comparison to 436 the previous year.

The two forces’ results went against the national trend which showed a nine per cent drop in complaints made against constabularies across the country with Warwickshire revealing a massive 37 per cent fall and Bedfordshire a 35 per cent reduction.

Nationally there were 33,099 complaints made against officers in 2010 to 2011, which fell to 30,143 from 2011 to 2012.

The report stated: “As is well known, rises or falls in the numbers of complaints being made are not open to simple interpretation. A rise may reflect greater public dissatisfaction, but may also be a response to efforts to make it easier to complain.

“Alternatively, a fall may reflect the complaints system being inaccessible rather than a reduction in public dissatisfaction.”