Police complaints ‘under recorded’

Police have been found to be under recording complaints, a report has revealed.

The joint report by the Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland and the Accounts Commission highlighted that in the period 2009-10 an average of 12.2 complaints were made against police for every 10,000 incidents.

This was significantly lower than the Scottish average of 17.5.

The result of under recording complaints meant that it was difficult for Strathclyde Police’s management body — Strathclyde Police Authority — to hold the force to account effectively due to the quality and accuracy of the data provided.

The report also claims that there was no description of the nature of the complaints made.

However, it concludes that the force is “performing well” and states the reason for the lack of complaints recorded was identified and procedures have been put in place to improve the quality of information they gave to the authority.

There will also need to be a more active approach to amassing information from the force about performances to allow more detailed investigation of its work.

There was good news for Strathclyde Police elsewhere in the report as it concluded that recorded crime of violence, indecency, dishonesty, vandalism and malicious misconduct had gone down by 10.3% while the overall detection rate was 30% — a slight increase on the previous year.

Chief constable Steve House said: “While I am satisfied with the overall outcome of the review in terms of how the force is performing and of the job that my officers are doing in our communities, I realise there is always room for improvement.

“The authors of the report have made a small number of recommendations to the force about how we might improve still further.

“We will, of course, take them on board and make sure that we do whatever we can to improve our performance still further”.