Rise in number of complaints recorded by Norfolk Constabulary

PUBLISHED: 07:03 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:03 18 September 2018

File photo of Norfolk Police. Picture: Archant

File photo of Norfolk Police. Picture: Archant

The number of complaints recorded by Norfolk Constabulary has increased by 11 per cent, according to new statistics.

The national police complaints statistics for England and Wales 2017/18 show a total of 31,671 complaints were recorded by forces, a decrease of 7per cent on 2016/17’s figure although Norfolk Constabulary recorded a total of 461 complaints, an increase of 11 per cent on last year.

There was also an increase in Suffolk with the force recording a total of 337 complaints, an increase of 6per cent on the previous year.

The proportion of allegations being dealt with by the less formal local resolution process vary between 10 and 75 per cent across forces in England and Wales.

Overall, 42per cent of allegations finalised in 2017/18 were locally resolved by police and 44 per cent were locally investigated.

Norfolk Constabulary finalised 32 per cent of allegations by local resolution while in Suffolk the force finalised 39 per cent of allegations by local resolution.

On average, it took Norfolk Constabulary 160 working days to locally investigate an allegation, compared to 173 nationally.

For allegations finalised by local resolution, it took an average of 102 working days to resolve the allegation, compared to 72 days nationally.

But despite an overall fall in the number of complaints recorded by forces, the Independent Officer for Police 
Condsuct (IOPC) said the reduction masks wide discrepancies in the 
way police forces handle them.

Some forces choose to formally investigate most allegations made against them, while others use the less formal ‘local resolution’ process.

The IOPC said this pointed to an overly complex complaints system and welcomed changes coming into effect next year, including improving how allegations are defined, to simplify complaints handling.

Sarah Green, regional director, said:“The handling of complaints varies greatly between forces and we hope that expected changes to the system next year will bring greater consistency.

“We will also be providing updated guidance to assist forces and the public, and working with forces to ensure best practice is shared.”

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