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Fewer complaints against Thames Valley Police

Fewer complaints against Thames Valley Police

Published by Dan Gooding at 8:00am 20th October 2019.

The number of complaints against our police force has dropped, by nearly 100, in a year.

Across 2018 to 19, 1,221 issues were raised with Thames Valley Police.

They force say they are working faster to resolve issues the public raise about officers and the service they receive.

Nationally, the most common type of allegation made in a complaint remains 'other neglect or failure in duty' category, such as how officers responded to or investigated incidents.

These allegations accounted for 41% of all the allegations recorded in 2018/19; continuing a rise seen in the two previous reports. This year the number of allegations per 1,000 employees fell from 274 to 264.

IOPC Regional Director for the South East, Sarah Green said: 

"The IOPC provides independent oversight of the complaints system - setting the guidelines and working with forces to improve how they apply them - so the public can be confident that should they want to make a complaint it can be addressed in a timely, reasonable and proportionate manner.

"We have been advocates for the increased use of local resolution, so it is pleasing to see it is now the most used method for resolving matters. The system is not perfect though and there are differences in how well forces handle complaints. Using the statistics we have worked with individual forces to identify potential issues, share best practice and deliver workshops that help forces improve. 

"This year we have worked with Cambridgeshire to help reduce the number of upheld appeals following local investigations, which has resulted in the percentage dropping from 39% to 33%. We also worked with Essex Police to look at their processes for handling complaints, and held workshops with forces across the region to share best practice in the recording and handling of complaints in their initial stages."

TVP reaction

Police - Arrest/handcuffs
TVP say they get called out to over 200,000 incidents a year

In a statement, Thames Valley Police said:

"Thames Valley Police (TVP) has seen a reduction in complaints from members of the public compared to last year. In addition, the number of allegations per 1,000 officers has also dropped from previous years. We are also continuing to reduce the time it takes to resolve local investigations to get an early closure for complainants.

"We are in the process of rolling out body worn video to all our front line officers and we have found this to be an invaluable tool to investigate allegations and police actions and to prove or disprove a complaint allegation.

"Policing can be a difficult job and TVP prides itself in providing a high quality of service. It is worth remembering that a complaint does not always indicate a wrong doing or fault. We attended 229,495 incidents last year and invariably there may be some instances where a member of the public may be dissatisfied with the service or actions of our officers or staff. 

"The Professional Standards Department is working hard to reduce complaints by focusing on education and prevention amongst our staff. We always seek to investigate reported complaint quickly and fairly and to draw out any learning opportunities for the individual and the organisation where possible in order to continue to improve our service."

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