Rise in complaints against North Yorkshire Police

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Complaints against North Yorkshire Police have risen by 15 per cent for 2013/14 according to the recent figures from the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner (IPCC).

The numbers for North Yorkshire were equivalent for all forces as there were 34,863 cases involving complaints in 2013/14 nationally and a 15 per cent increase on the last year.

North Yorkshire Police received 544 complaints in 2013/14 compared to 471 in 2012/13 and 496 in 2011/12 with Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick saying he ‘welcomed’ the statistics.

He said: “The report is a positive indicator for North Yorkshire Police and should reassure members of the public when they make complaints they will be appropriately resolved or investigated.

“North Yorkshire Police also prides itself on the strict compliance with the complaint recording rules set out in the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s Statutory Guidance, which is reflected in the higher-than-average number of complaints the force’s Professional Standards Unit deals with.”

Dep Chief Constable Madgwick stressed the majority of complaints were of ‘minor nature and resolved locally’ and their resolution of complaints is better than the national average ‘by a significant margin’.

However, Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said that the police complaint system was ‘broken’, branding it ‘bureaucratic, slow and inflexible’.

Ms Mulligan, Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Transparency and Integrity Standing Group, said: “Many members of the public understandably don’t trust the police to investigate the police.

“Taking an average of almost 60 working days to resolve a complaint via the quickest, most flexible route must be unacceptable and shows just how broken the system is.

“When the police need to conduct an investigation into a complaint, it takes over half the working year for the police to resolve it.

“To their credit the Home Office have recognised this and have put forward some proposals to alleviate some of those concerns which PCCs welcome, but we need to think radically to really resolve this issue.

“Complaints have gone up 15% in North Yorkshire. It shows there is still the desire to raise complaints despite the difficult system.

“If we were to open up the process and allow for informal, common sense solutions to complaints then both the public and the police would benefit.”