COMPLAINTS against West Yorkshire Police have risen over the last 12 months, an independent watchdog said.
Some 874 complaints were received by the force during 2008-9 – a 10% increase compared with the previous 12 months, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.
The 874 complaints contained 1,699 allegations – a rise of 8% – of which 18% related to neglect and failures in duty.
A further 17% concerned alleged rudeness and intolerance by officers.
But only 6% of complaints were judged to be justified, compared with a national average of 10%.
Of the allegations, 36% were formally investigated and another 36% were resolved by apology or explanation by a local senior police officer.
Nicholas Long, IPCC Commissioner for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “Public concerns continue to centre around perceptions that police officers are not doing their jobs effectively or are impolite when speaking to the public.
“The complaints statistics show a growing willingness of the public to voice their disapproval.
“Whether that disapproval is based on fact or perception, there is clearly some work for police forces to do in terms of better communicating and explaining what they do and, if warranted, apologising if officers have not met the expected standards.”
Chief Supt Ian Kennedy of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department said: “West Yorkshire Police handles nearly three-quarters of a million incidents each year, many in very difficult circumstances.
“While we have seen a rise in the number of complaints received in 2008-9, in last year’s report we had the biggest reductions of any force in the country.
“We routinely monitor all complaints made by the public to identify any recurring problems which will be dealt with robustly and could lead to disciplinary action.
“What the figures do show is the public’s confidence in reporting such matters to West Yorkshire Police as well as the force’s commitment to improving its quality of service through the monitoring of any complaints.”