Big in­crease in com­plaints against po­lice

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - School Report -

THE num­ber of com­plaints against Kent Po­lice has soared by 24 per cent – one of the high­est per­cent­age rises in the coun­try.

The In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion’s lat­est fig­ures show 28,963 com­plaints were recorded by po­lice forces across Eng­land and Wales be­tween 2007 and 2008. A to­tal of 695 peo­ple com­plained against Kent Po­lice over the same time pe­riod – 137 more than the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

This jump was one of the high­est per­cent­age in­creases in the UK – rank­ing Kent sixth out of 43 po­lice forces.

IPCC chair­man Nick Hard­wick said: “It is un­ac­cept­able that nearly half of all com­plaints in­volve ne­glect or rude­ness. There is ab­so­lutely no ex­cuse for be­ing rude to the pub­lic.”

Com­plaint cases, which may have one or more al­le­ga­tions, also in­cluded com­mon as­sault and stop and search.

Kent’s as­sis­tant chief con­sta­ble Gary Beautridge said the level of com­plaints was only a tiny per­cent­age of the ac­tual to­tal of calls the po­lice re­ceived each year.

He said: “We re­ceive about 2,000 calls a day. Seven hun­dred of those are emer­gency calls so that it is about 1.5 mil­lion calls a year and the level of com­plaints rep­re­sents less than one 20th of one per cent of all the calls and this puts it into con­text.”

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