Figures released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) today have shown that there has been a 30 per cent reduction in the number of complaints made against Essex Police since 2014.
Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I’m encouraged by this report as it shows what we already know in that Essex Police has made significant progress over the last few years in how it manages complaints. I regularly review the complaints handled by the force to ensure that they are being dealt with appropriately and that the people of Essex are getting the high quality treatment they expect. Our aim must be that anyone who feels they have not received the service they deserve can challenge Essex Police and their concerns will be taken seriously. I look forward to seeing this improvement continue in the future.”
Essex Police’s Deputy Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “Since 2014 complaints against Essex Police have reduced by a massive 30 per cent and our reduction of 15 per cent from last year is in the top five in the country. That means people in our county can have confidence in the ethical culture and professionalism that characterises the overwhelming majority of our contact with the public.” “It is vital people who aren’t satisfied with the service we’ve provided can make a complaint easily and effectively and we look to learn from every allegation made to us. Today’s figures demonstrate very clearly that complaints are dealt with thoroughly and quickly but anyone who feels that we’ve let them down needs to tell us about it.”
The IPCC report said that in Essex there were 806 recorded complaints in total, a 15 per cent decrease on last year. Of the complaints finalised by the force in 2016/17, 47 per cent of cases were investigated by the force, and 39 per cent were dealt with through local resolution. The IPCC Chair, Dame Anne Owers, said: “The public need to have a high level of confidence in the police complaints system. If they complain about their local police force they should be assured that it will be dealt with robustly and fairly. “The current system is extremely complex and bureaucratic and this has led to some of the inconsistencies we have recorded year on year. It is also not sufficiently independent, since some dissatisfied complainants can only appeal to the force that rejected their complaint in the first place. “While some local variation is unavoidable, it is clear that some forces need to look closely at their own performance and approach, where it is clearly at odds with the norm. It is welcome that some forces have done this during last year, sometimes with the assistance of our own oversight team. “The new system will be simpler and more flexible, and will also provide an independent appeal right for everyone, either to the IPCC or to a Police and Crime Commissioner. This is welcome, but we will still need to ensure that complainants throughout the country can be assured that their complaints will be handled appropriately and thoroughly. “We look forward to working with police and crime commissioners as they take on greater responsibility for complaints in their areas, to share knowledge and ensure effective and consistent oversight of the police complaints system.” For a full breakdown of the complaints statistics for 2016/17 please click here for the full report: http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/research_stats/complaints_statistics_2016_17.pdf
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