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Complaints over Lincolnshire police increase by 16 per cent in a year

By Daniel Jaines, Local Democracy Reporter

Lincolnshire Police chiefs have put a 16 per cent increase in complaints about the force over the past year down to the “strain of the impact and complexity” of work and a “challenge around numbers”.

A report to the Public Assurance committee on Monday said 605 complaints were received last year, with the worst month being June 2019, when 68 were made.

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin said the data correlated with a decrease in user satisfaction of 7.5 per cent around the public being kept informed over investigations.

Jason Harwin (9897880)
Jason Harwin (9897880)

The meeting was told the figures correlated with other forces and a “reduction in resources”.

“We’re starting to see some strain of the impact and complexity of work we’re doing and a challenge around numbers,” said Mr Harwin.

“Clearly officers are not having enough time to do some of the things they would expect and want to do in terms of keeping victims up to date at various stages of their investigations.”

Around 49 per cent of complaints were for neglect and failure of duty, while 15 per cent were for incivility.

Mr Harwin told those attending that 71 per cent of complaints were able to be dealt with “locally”, not resulting in a misconduct or performance action.

He said early action ensured the force “resolved the issue, while at the same time making sure the staff member is dealt with appropriately”.

“We are a learning organisation, we’re not necessarily looking to blame staff if we get it wrong,” he said.

“We learn pretty quickly, but yes, if we continue to get it wrong, clearly we need to take action.”

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said he preferred complaints being dealt with at a local level. “I do believe organisations learn best from complaints by dealing with complaints. I don’t wish to be more interventionist than that,” he told the meeting.


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