One in three North West residents are ‘not confident’ police handle complaints fairly, claims watchdog

One in three people in the North West are not confident that their complaint will be handled fairly by police, the IPCC claim.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission survey revealed that 37% of the 4,000 people surveyed were either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ confident that the police would deal with their grievances fairly.

As a part of the IPCC’s three-year plan to improve the public’s confidence in the complaints system, the survey’s findings run consistently with the watchdog’s own recently published review of complaints handling carried out by the forces themselves.

The IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers said: “The majority of the 30,000 complaints made annually about the police are handled by the police service itself.

“This survey shows that too many people are still either unsure of how to make a complaint about the police or don’t believe their complaint will be dealt with fairly.”

Commenting on results showing that those from ethnic minorities as well as those aged 15-24 were ‘less likely’ to complain, Dame Owers stated: “It is particularly worrying that young people and those from ethnic minorities have lower confidence in the complaints system.

“The survey underlines the importance of the plan we are launching today and there is clearly more work to be done by both the police and IPCC to improve access, awareness and trust in the complaints system and those who work in it.”

However, results also showed that 60% of people in the North West were content with their recent contact with police.

The survey also showed that 70% of people were willing to complain if they were really unhappy about how a police officer had behaved towards them or handled a matter they were involved in.

When speaking of the survey’s conclusions overall, Dame Owners said: “The survey findings underline the need for more work to address public confidence concerns, and how important it is we take forward our plans for improving complaints handling, in partnership with forces, PCCs, and other policing bodies.”

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