Significant failings in complaints handling

Dame Anne Owers
Dame Anne Owers

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found significant failings in the way three police forces - including West Yorkshire Police - handle complaints of discrimination.

The IPCC looked at 202 different allegations of discrimination on the grounds of race, disability and age made to West Yorkshire, West Midlands and Greater Manchester forces. Of the 170 made by members of the public, only 94 were investigated and none were upheld. This was in comparison to the 32 complaints made by police officers against their colleagues, half of which were upheld.

The report found that eight out of ten cases were not properly assessed.

Dame Anne Owers, IPCC chairman, said: “Our findings are stark - generally complaints of discrimination made by members of the public are poorly handled from beginning to end. It is vital that police forces deal effectively with allegations of discrimination.”

Deputy Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “What matters most to us, is that people who complain have the confidence to contact us, knowing we will deal with matters fairly and professionally.

“While we accept there are always areas for improvement and we really welcome the independent scrutiny of bodies like the IPCC, our current complaints system is undergoing significant improvement incorporating previous observations from the Crawford report as well as other feedback.”