Police complaints system 'bureaucratic and slow'

Many police complaints took too long, the chair says
Many police complaints took too long, the chair says

Complaints about police behaviour are addressed too slowly, according to the chair of the organisation which conducts the inquiries.

Nick Hardwick of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: "The current system does not always meet the needs of the public and police staff and officers. The process can also be bureaucratic and slow and there's not enough local responsibility for handling complaints."

The commission will now begin a 12-week consultation on how to improve.

Questions in the latest British Crime Survey showed 79 per cent of people who made a complaint about the police were dissatisfied with the way the police dealt with it.

Mr Hardwick admitted the system needed to change.

"What puts [people] off making a complaint is the fear that despite a complex and lengthy process, it will not make any difference."

Since the IPCC began work in April 2004, it has dealt with over 35,000 contacts to its complaints centre.

The commission came under widespread criticism following its second investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes when its report ruled out any blame on the part of police commissioner Sir Ian Blair.


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