Greater Manchester Police complaints concern from IPCC

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been warned by the IPCC to urgently examine its approach to complaints.

In 72% of cases, the Independent Police Complaints Commission upheld appeals regarding the non-recording of complaints by the force in 2011/12.

The number of recorded complaints to GMP upheld by the watchdog are 10% higher than the national average.

Det Ch Supt Paul Rumney said it would "work with the IPCC to learn what lessons we can".

'Blocking access'

The number of complaints deemed justified by the IPCC against GMP was 48%, 10% higher than the average for England and Wales.

In total in 2011/12, there were 1,021 complaints about the police force made to the IPCC, a 12% reduction on the previous year's figure of 1,155.

Per 1,000 employees, GMP has the third fewest complaints of all the forces in the UK.

Det Ch Supt Rumney said: "A lot of work has been done to educate all our employees on the importance the force places on the standards of service we provide to members of the public, so it is pleasing to see that reflected in the drop in the number of complaints."

However, Dame Anne Owers, who chairs the IPCC, said limited importance should be placed on the drop in the number of complaints.

'Provide the service'

She said: "Police forces that record more complaints may be more alert to the need to ensure access to the complaints system; those recording fewer complaints may be less ready to recognise and acknowledge complaints."

She added the number of unrecorded cases successful on appeal was "concerning" and forces had to ensure they were "not blocking access to the complaints system".

Det Ch Supt Rumney, who heads GMP's professional standards branch, said: "We note the IPCC's findings and we will continue to work with the IPCC to learn what lessons we can and ensure we provide the service the complainant wants.

"New regulations will come into effect in November that will help us to reduce bureaucracy even further and allow us to deal with complaints even quicker, more thoroughly and proportionately."

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