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Police Complaints and Discipline: England and Wales, 12 Months to March 2003

NCJ Number
Judith Cotton
Date Published
February 2004
21 pages
This document provides information on police complaints and discipline in England and Wales in 2003.
This study dealt with complaints, breaches of conduct, and discipline charges against police officers for the period of April 1, 2002, to March 31, 2003. The police received 15,248 cases of complaint in the 12 months studied, a fall of 8 percent over the previous 12 months. This is the third year where numbers have fallen. They represented around 23,000 individual items of complaint. During the year, 70 percent of individual complaints dealt with were informally resolved, withdrawn, or dispensed with. A total of 7,262 individual complaints required investigations, a decrease of 6 percent over the previous 12 months. A total of 941 complaints were substantiated, 5 percent more than the previous years. Over half involved a failure in duty and around a fifth concerned oppressive behavior. Disciplinary/misconduct allegations were proved against 1,529 officers. As a result, 115 officers were dismissed or required to resign, an increase of 19 percent over the previous 12 months. Nearly three quarters of those officers sanctioned for misconduct received written warnings. 15 tables, 6 notes