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Surge in complaints against Cumbria police

The number of complaints levelled against Cumbria police have soared by almost one-third in the last year.

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New figures show allegations are up by 32 per cent – an increase of 125 from people coming into contact with the force. Accusations include unprofessional conduct, malpractice and incivility.

Senior officers stress Cumbria scores well when measured against national statistics and a high number of complaints are found to be unsubstantiated.

But the rise is sure to be looked at by the county’s new chief constable, Jerry Graham, who says he wants integrity to be at the heart of the work of officers.

The figures, to be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday, come in the wake of the high-profile case of a Cumbrian constable who stole a credit card while on duty.

A report to the county’s crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes, shows there were 513 allegations in the 12 months to July, compared to 388 in the year before.

This year’s allegations arose from 347 individual cases. One case can feature a number of different allegations, leading to the higher total.

Figures show that complaints of unprofessional conduct drew the highest number of allegations – 234.

Ninety-five allegations were over complaints of oppressive behaviour, 73 were about perceived incivility while 29 featured claims of malpractice.

The figures in the report come from Detective Chief Inspector Paul Duhig, of the force’s professional standards department.

He offers some perspective regarding the numbers, outlining the scale of police work in Cumbria.

“During the current 12-month period there have been 121,780 incidents, 23,916 crimes and 17,771 arrests,” adds DCI Duhig.

“This gives an indication of the much greater number of individual interactions between Cumbria Police and members of the public.”

He says the increase in allegations can be attributed to “a number of cases that contained multiple allegations”, pointing out that one case led to 20 allegations.

DCI Duhig adds that figures for April to June showed a big drop compared to January to March and states Cumbria has a lower number of allegations per 1,000 employees than the national average.

“Allegations not upheld by the professional standards department have increased by 49 per cent compared to the last 12 months,” he continues.

“Cumbria has the third lowest percentage of allegations upheld nationally.”

Have your say

The current complaint system is rigged in favour of officers thanks to the Polices official complaint body the IPCC.
They do everything in their power to vindicate the officer and even if you succeed all you do is get an apology via them with no known corrective education of the officers misdemeanors reported back to you. As for the reason of no trust in the police the reason is here with 70% of the ipcc workforce run by police officers.
Don't ask the police for help ask a criminal. At least he will tell you the truth.

Posted by J Jamieson on 20 August 2014 at 18:26

tony, whilst having sympathy with your six year old boy being assaulted I must ask if you made an official complaint about the way your case was handled, if you didn't I don't think you have the right to enter this debate. If you did, let us know the outcome.
I agree wholeheartedly with Joy regarding the threat of withdrawing from the current pension scheme as it should get the right people around the negotiating table but I fear the fact that others can take industrial action could mean everyone bar the police could claw something back before the elections next year & that isn't fair on the police.
I do not however agree with the fire service using the age of sixty as a tool as I feel I could do this as a sixty year old after a few hours a week in the gym, where you went wrong was you should have used the same argument when you started recruiting 5' 0'' females weighing six stones but that would not have been PC would it?

Posted by Sixty on 18 August 2014 at 14:52

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