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Police Complaints and Discipline England and Wales, 12 Months to March 2002

NCJ Number
David Povey; Judith Cotton
Date Published
February 2003
21 pages
This document presents statistics on police complaints and discipline in England and Wales in 2002.
Each complaint case represents a single investigation carried out. It may contain one or more separate matters of complaint, and may be brought by one or more complainant. The analysis here is in terms of individual complaints rather than cases, since within any case, some allegations may be substantiated and others not. The police received 16,654 cases of complaint in the 12 months to March 2002, a decrease of 12 percent over the previous 12 months. This is the smallest number since at least 1987 and represented fewer than 25,000 individual items of complaint. Thirty-five percent of individual complaints were informally resolved and 36 percent were withdrawn or dispensed with. A total of 7,705 individual complaints required investigations, a decrease of 22 percent over the previous 12 months. A total of 898 complaints were substantiated, 5 less than the previous year. More than half involved a failure in duty and nearly a quarter concerned oppressive behavior. Disciplinary/misconduct charges were proved against 1,353 officers. As a result, 97 officers were dismissed or required to resign, a decrease of 22 percent over the previous 12 months. Three hundred twenty-nine officers warranted a fine, reprimand, or caution and 897 officers received written warnings. 6 figures, 15 tables, 6 notes