Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
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‘9% drop in police complaints is welcome, but IPCC must have the resources to deliver for the future’ – APA responds to fall in police complaints

The Association of Police Authorities has issued the following statement in response to the publication of thelatest IPCC figures on police complaints in England and Wales:

As police forces across England and Wales prepare for the election of Police and Crime Commissioners on November 15, today’s data from the Independent Police Complaints Commission shows a 9 per cent decrease in complaints against police officers.

Responding to these welcome statistics, (the last to be issued whilst the police are overseen by police authorities in England and Wales), the Chair of the Association of Police Authorities, Cllr Diana Holl-Allen MBE said;

“30,000 complaints about police officers are 30,000 too many but the fact that these figures are down 9% is a welcome tribute to the service. Just as importantly, the police service increasingly understands complaints as a constructive opportunity to learn and, where necessary, improve.

With fewer complaints, falling crime and rising public confidence, elected Police and Crime Commissioners will inherit a service that is far from failing but is responsive, respected, and on a firm footing for further improvement.

Experience suggests that the introduction of a single individual to oversee policing results in a rise in public interaction with the service. In the light of the IPCC’s new role investigating complaints against elected Police and Crime Commissioners, and the announcement of a massive IPCC probe into police actions over Hillsborough, we hope that the IPCC will have the resources that it needs to address these crucial new demands on its capacity."

Background:

1. For the second year, there has been a fall in the number of complaint cases recorded by police forces. A total of 30,143 complaints were recorded during 2011/12. This is a 9% reduction compared to 2010/11 and a 12% decrease since 2009/10. Three-quarters of police forces showed a fall in recorded complaint cases during 2011/12.

2. During 2011/12, a total of 54,714 allegations were recorded. This is an 8% decrease compared to the previous year.

3. A total of 29,639 complaint cases were finalised during 2011/12. This is 14% fewer than the previous year.

4. During 2011/12, 6,339 appeals were made to the IPCC about the handling of a complaint by a police force, which represents a 3% increase compared to the previous year.

5. During 2011/12, 30,624 people complained about the conduct of someone serving with the police - a fall of 9% compared to the previous year.

6. A total of 35,382 people serving with the police were subject to a recorded complaint during 2011/12 - a 6% fall compared to the previous year.

7. The passing of responsibility for overseeing the Metropolitan Police from the Police Authority to the Mayor resulted in a massive increase in correspondence on policing received by the Mayor’s office. This, combined with the introduction of elected PCCs, could lead to a significant increase in the workload of the IPCC from next month.

8. Full data tables from the IPCC: http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/en/Pages/stats.aspx


Notes to Editors

  1. Press contact: Nathan Oley, Head of Press and Public Affairs, 07714 399 760 / Nathan.oley@apa.police.uk
  2. The Association of Police Authorities (APA) represents police authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the British Transport Police Authority, the Civil Nuclear Police Authority, and the Ministry of Defence Police Committee.
  3. The APA has been commissioned by the Home Office to provide a co-ordination and representation function for all Police and Crime Commissioners and police governance bodies from November 2012 as part of a smooth transition from police authorities to elected Commissioners. This work is being developed by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Transitional Board at the APA.
  4. Local police authorities, along with the Home Secretary and chief officers of police, make up the tripartite relationship which is responsible for the governance of policing in England and Wales.
  5. Police authorities are currently made up of local people: a mix of local councillors and independent members (selected from the community) of which one must be a magistrate.
  6. The tripartite partners are the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities.
  7. The job of police authorities is to:
    • Consult with local communities to find out what they want the local police to do
    • Set the strategic direction for policing locally and decide what the police should focus their attention on locally, based on consultations with local communities
    • Set the budget for their police force, and decide how much local people should pay for policing in the local council tax
    • Make sure the police force is continuing to do a better job
    • Appoint (and, if necessary, dismiss) chief constables and senior police officers

Nathan Oley|Head of Press and Public Affairs|The APCC Transitional Board, APCC and Association of Police Authorities, APA|07714 399 760 | 3rd Floor, 10 Dean Farrar St, London, SW1H 0DX|www.apccs.police.uk /www.apa.police.uk |@AssocPCCs / @assocpoliceauth

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