Complaints against Essex Police rise by a third

COMPLAINTS against Essex Police increased by more than third in the past year – significantly higher than the national average – a watchdog has revealed. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said that 908 complaints were made against the f

COMPLAINTS against Essex Police increased by more than third in the past year - significantly higher than the national average - a watchdog has revealed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said that 908 complaints were made against the force in 2008 and 2009.

The statistic represents a 34 per cent rise in recorded complaints (up from 677 the year before) compared to an increase of eight per cent nationally.

Essex Police said that the number of recorded complaints was a "low figure compared to the number of interactions between police and public".


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During the same period, the force received 543,964 calls into its control room and attended more than 447,000 incidents.

"Essex Police has a committed and enthusiastic workforce but sometimes we will not meet the expectations of the public," said a spokesman for Essex Police.

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"The complaints system, overseen by the IPCC, provides a means of redress.

"Essex Police was the first force in the country to launch the policing pledge, which includes a commitment to the public to acknowledge and record all expressions of dissatisfaction within 24 hours.

"This demonstrates the importance that Essex Police places on improving the standards and quality of the service provided to the public.

"Throughout the year, Essex Police has continued to increase its police officer numbers, ensuring that the public have even more officers on the streets who help to ensure that more criminals are arrested at the same time as crime continues to fall."

More than a third of complaints (36 per cent) to Essex Police between April 2008 and March this year were about 'neglect of duty', while the national average was 24 per cent.

A further 15 per cent were about 'incivility and impoliteness,' compared with the national average of 21 per cent.

Chairman of the IPCC, Nick Hardwick, said: "The overall increase in the number of complaints reflects growing confidence in the system and more consistent complaint recording standards.

"We want to make sure all sections of society have confidence. If the police are to enjoy the confidence of the public it is important they hear from all communities about their experience of policing - good and bad.

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