Complaints against Hertfordshire police soar

COMPLAINTS against police in Hertfordshire have rocketed, new figures have revealed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published the latest statistics for 2009/10.

They show that last year 462 people complained about the police in Hertfordshire – a 17 per cent increase on the previous year.

A single complaint case can comprise a number of allegations, and this year allegations against Hertfordshire Constabulary increased to 902 from 776.

The commission lists allegations in three key areas; incivility which went up to 170 from 152, neglect of duty, which rose to 277 from 246 and assaults which soared from 68 to 94.

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Rachel Cerfontyne, IPCC Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “Last year there was a further increase in the number of people complaining about the police.

“Prior to the introduction of the IPCC in 2004, the number of people complaining was falling and later research showed only 10 per cent of people who felt like complaining actually did.

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“I believe improved confidence in and access to the complaints system has encouraged those who previously were not inclined to complain that making a complaint is worthwhile.”

She added: “The number of ‘rude and late’ complaints highlights the standards expected of the police service and the need to improve how they interact with the public.

“However, while some aspects can be improved without cost, such as through better leadership, smaller police budgets will present a challenge around levels of service and public expectation.

“This will require forces to develop an open dialogue with the public.”

Nationally complaints rose eight per cent to 33,854.

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