Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2004

Record police complaints upheld

Police jacket
There were 941 substantiated complaints in England and Wales

Police had the highest number of complaints against them proved since 1976 last year, new figures have shown.

The number of complaints by the public in England and Wales fell 8% overall but 13% of those investigated were upheld, according to Home Office data.

Disciplinary or misconduct allegations were proved against 1,529 officers, up 13% year-on-year.

Home Office data showed 115 officers were dismissed or had to resign in 2003 - up 19% on the previous 12 months.

Criminal proceedings

Figures showed that the proportion of complaints upheld rose almost 4% in two years and nearly doubled since 1991.

The number of substantiated complaints rose 5% to 941 for England and Wales - the highest for 16 years.

Recorded complaints
27% Assault by officers
15% Other oppressive behaviour*
3% Racial discrimination
Substantiated complaints
54% Failures in duty
10% Assault by officers
11% Other oppressive behaviour
1% Racial discrimination
*includes assault, harassment and unlawful arrest

Among the 941 substantiated complaints across England and Wales, 199 were for oppressive behaviour, nine were for racial discrimination, 63 for malpractice, 510 for failures in duty and 113 for incivility.

Criminal proceedings were brought against 16 officers as a result of substantiated complaints in the year.

In all, 195 officers were convicted of criminal offences - up 4% on 2001-2002. Most of these were for traffic offences.

The 61 non-traffic criminal convictions represented a 17% increase year-on-year.


Nottingham recorded the highest number of complaints per 1,000 officers with 269, followed by Warwickshire with 261.

Highest: Nottingham (269)
Lowest: Durham (102)
Largest increase: Gloucestershire(29%)
Largest fall: Sussex (51%)
Most substantiated : North Yorkshire (15.8%)
Lowest substantiated: Lancashire and Northamptonshire (0.6%)

Durham had the lowest number (102), jointly followed by Merseyside and Derbyshire (123).

Data showed the largest increase in complaints recorded was Gloucestershire (29%), while the largest fall was Sussex with a drop of 51%.

North Yorkshire had the most substantiated complaints (15.8%), followed by Warwickshire (10.2%), while joint lowest were Lancashire and Northamptonshire (0.6%), then Derbyshire (0.8%).

The City of London Police - whose figures are skewed by its small number of officers and low residential population - had 95 complaints received per 1,000 officers, a 55% increase, but none were substantiated.

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04 Jul 03 |  Leicestershire

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