September 27th, 2008

I’d like to make a complaint

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

If you want your police officers to be polite & efficient, don’t move to Hertfordshire. That’s the conclusion from the latest figures released on the number of complaints against police.

The IPCC has revealed that there were some 48,000 complaints made against officers last year. A quarter of those were for rudeness or incivility. Complaints resulting from people being stop-searched were 560. That seems pretty good considering there were nearly 1 million stop-searches carried out during the same period.

So what’s Hertfordshire got to do with it? I’m glad you asked, they come lowest in the bean-counter charts for the number of complaints per officer. The county comes out at about 475 complaints per 1,000 officers. The best force was Durham with a mere 158 complaints per 1,000 officers.

Doubtless chief officers up & down the country will be studying the stats with interest & you can guarantee that they will be delegating to superintendents who will delegate to chief inspectors to “do something about it“. Chiefs don’t like coming near the bottom of any performance indicators.

So money in the form of staff to come up with a strategy, staff to implement it (who will be different) & staff to monitor it & create Exel spreadsheets (different again), will be diverted from front-line policing so that the force gets a better ranking next year.

This will probably mean that more people will have to wait for a police response – probably several days – and thus more people will make complaints, and the force will come lower down the rankings next year until the whole cycle begins again.

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