Complaint Performance

 
Statement of Intent
 
We are committed to continuously improving the service we deliver to our communities and view complaints as a vital source of feedback to gauge how well we are delivering that service.
 
We need to know when things aren't right, that's why we will always take complaints seriously. Our aim is to handle complaints proportionately and resolve them as quickly and effectively as we can.  We want to learn lessons from our mistakes, be able to put things right and be given the opportunity to say "sorry" when we need to.  That way we can make further improvements to the service we deliver, instil a learning culture in our work force and maintain the faith, trust and confidence we hold with our communities which we consider fundamental to our policing style.
 
Glossary of Terms
 
Complaint
“An expression of dissatisfaction with what has happened or how someone has been treated”.
Allegation
This describes the type of behaviour being complained about.  A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.  For example, a person may allege that they were pushed by an officer and that the officer was rude to them. This would be recorded as two separate allegations forming one complaint case.  
 
Local Resolution
For some complaints, such as rudeness or a neglect of duty, a local resolution is often the best way of dealing with a complaint.  It is a flexible process that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant and is handled at local managerial level.  It will often involve a local police supervisor agreeing with the complainant a suitable way of dealing with the complaint. This might be an explanation or information to clear up a misunderstanding; an apology on behalf of the force; and/or an outline of what actions will be taken to prevent a similar matter occurring in the future.  In some circumstances an opportunity to meet with the officer being complained about may be arranged.  This is called a Mediated Resolution and has been used successfully many times in the local resolution process. A high degree of satisfaction has been expressed by complainants who have undertaken the Mediated Resolution to resolve their complaint.
 
Investigation
In some cases it may be decided that a complaint requires a thorough examination of the incident. The supervisory officer will decide whether the matter should be dealt with by investigation. This will involve the appointment of an investigating officer who will look into the complaint and produce a report that details whether each allegation made should be upheld or not upheld.
 
 
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT STATISTICS 2017/2018
 
 
The number of complaint cases recorded in 2017/18 was comparable to the number recorded in 2016/17.

Force complaints have increased by 5%. This equates to only 16 in number, so is of no real consequence.
 
            
Force allegations have decreased by 6% ,  which is below the National trend.

When producing national complaint statistics the IOPC recognise that forces are recording complaints and allegations in different ways, which is leading to significant disparity in force performance. As a force we record all complaints accurately and ethically in line with the IOPC statutory guidance and encourage our communities to come forward and tell us when they are not happy. Whilst the increase in recorded complaints and allegations are above the national average, we are satisfied we correctly record all complaints and allegations. We continue to promote our complaints process, ensuring it is accessible to all communities. In addition, we now consider complaints made against the general organisation, as formal complaint.
 

Complaints recorded within 10 days - 89%

National Average recorded within 10 days - 82%


Number of allegations per 1000 employees
Force = 243 per 1000 employees
National average = 274 per 1000 employees
 
Allegations Locally Resolved = 53%
National Average = 42%

Durham are performing higher than the national average and are keen to work with our complainants, striving to involve them in achieving worth while resolutions that meet their expectations. 

 
Allegations subject to investigation = 36%
National Average = 44%

 
Average number of days to finalise all complaints = 64 days
National Average = 116 days 
 
In relation to local investigations they are completed significantly more quickly than the national average. We will continue to work hard at reducing the time it takes to finalise investigations.
 
Appeals received against the number of cases = 22
Of the 330 complaints recorded the force received 22 appeals against the outcome.
 
Appeals completed by IOPC - 39
Completed upheld appeals - 9 
 
Of the 39 valid appeals received by the IOPC 9 were upheld meaning we had a 24% IOPC upheld rate. The national average was 37%.
 

You can view full Annual Police Complaint Statistics Report and previous years by visiting the Independent Office for Police Conduct website.