Decrease in complaints about police

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THE number of complaints made about South Yorkshire Police has fallen, an investigation has revealed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has released figures for 2011-12 showing the number of complaints people have made about the force because they felt their concern had not been dealt with adequately.

South Yorkshire Police recorded 419 complaints - a 21 per cent drop from the previous year’s total of 528.

A total of 786 allegations were made against South Yorkshire Police - a 22 per cent decrease on the previous 1,002 number.

Further figures show that 59 allegations out of 296 made against the South Yorkshire have been upheld following IPCC investigation since April 2010.

Across England and Wales, the total number of complaints recorded by police forces fell for the second consecutive year from 33,099 cases to 30,143.

However, the IPCC is dealing with an increasing number of appeals from people unhappy with the way their complaints have been handled by forces. Overall, during 2011-12 a total of 6,339 appeals were made to the IPCC - a three per cent increase on the previous year. Of those appeals completed by the IPCC, 38 per cent were upheld - an eight per cent rise on the previous year.

Dame Anne Owers, chairman of the IPCC, was pleased that valid complaints were being resolved across England and Wales, however more needed to be done in terms of appeals.

She said: “It is of concern that not only has there been an increase in the number of appeals to the IPCC from those dissatisfied with the way their complaint was handled; there has also been a considerable increase in the proportion of appeals that we uphold.

“All chief constables should take personal interest in the findings of this report and assure themselves that they and their staff are meeting their obligations to record and resolve valid complaints from the public. In particular, they should look closely at the number and type of appeals upheld by the IPCC.”