Complaints against police hit record high

Police Watchoriginally published:
24th September 2009

Complaints against police officers in England and Wales rose to record levels last year, according to a report released today.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said that 31,259 complaints were made by members of the public in the financial year 2008/09.

It represents an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year. The number of complaints received last year was nearly double the number received in 2003/2004, the year before the IPCC came into existence.

Among the complaints upheld, 46 officers were found to have committed perjury, 11 were found to have indulged in “corrupt practice” and six committed sexual assaults.

The IPCC said the increase may be indicative of greater public awareness of the IPCC in the wake of high-profile investigations that it has carried out, most notably that into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian shot dead on the Tube by Metropolitan Police officers who mistakenly thought he was a terrorist.

The increase is also said to reflect changes in the way incidents are recorded. Last year, all police forces were required for the first time to record and refer to the IPCC all complaints received, rather than only serious ones.

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