Police complaints increase

COMPLAINTS about police in Suffolk have rocketed by nearly 80 per cent in the last three years, it has emerged.In the past year alone they have “significantly increased” by 20pc from 437 to 529 - with a marked rise in complaints from ethnic minorities.

COMPLAINTS about police in Suffolk have rocketed by nearly 80 per cent in the last three years, it has emerged.

In the past year alone they have “significantly increased” by 20pc from 437 to 529 - with a marked rise in complaints from ethnic minorities.

Complaints received by “non-white minority ethnic groups” have risen from ten to 36 and made up nearly seven pc of the total in 2006-7, compared to just over two pc the year before.

There has also been a rise in complaints of racial discrimination compared to the previous year, from seven to 11.


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But the number of complaints fully investigated - those of a more serious nature - has dropped from 134 in 2005-6 to 62 last year. Suffolk police said this showed the increased complaints were of a more minor nature.

A report going to Suffolk Police Authority's monitoring and audit committee on Friday says the force's professional standards department has continued to perform well in the last year.

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And the force has pledged to continue its work aimed at bringing down the number of complaints. This includes developing a process for third parties to report complaints, aimed at assisting members of ethnic minority groups .

A police spokesman said: “The rise in complaints has been experienced by forces across the country, not just in Suffolk.

“We believe that the increase shows that people have more confidence in coming forward to make their concerns known - and reflects the more rigorous practices for recording complaints which are now in place.

“During the course of the year, only six complaints were upheld. And, during that period, we received more than 750 letters of appreciation from local people.”

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