Complaints against Dyfed-Powys Police rocket
COMPLAINTS against Dyfed-Powys Police have rocketed.
The force has recorded the second highest percentage increase in England and Wales for the number of public complaints received against it.
It saw a 53 per cent rise in complaints from 2006/7 to 2007/8, from 188 to 287.
The nation's Gwent, North Wales and South Wales forces saw respective 14 per cent, nine per cent and 12 per cent increases.
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Dyfed-Powys has said it welcomes complaints and expects to be held to account.
The figures have been produced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
It is the body which can investigate allegations against officers ranging from impoliteness through to assault.
For the year ending March 31, 2008, the organisation recorded 28,963 complaints against English and Welsh forces, almost the same as the previous year's figures.
A majority of forces, 24 out of 43, saw a decrease in the number of complaints recorded recorded against them.
The biggest increase in the number of complaints was seen by Sussex Police where there was an 81 per cent rise, or 346 more complaints.
In a statement Dyfed-Powys Police said the rise was evidence of public confidence in the complaints system.
It said the rise in numbers worked out to just short of an additional two cases per week, and that the average number of allegations attached to each case was 1.7 which was consistent with the national average.
It also pointed out that, as a region, it handled around 200,000 calls for assistance each year and that the total number of complaint allegations against it totalled 507.
"Such increases are acknowledged as a potential indication of public confidence in the complaints system in that the public are confident that when reporting allegations of wrongdoing by police officers and staff, they will be recorded and dealt with appropriately," said a force spokesman.
"It is fair to say that most police officers and staff do their best to provide the highest quality of service in what sometimes can be very difficult and challenging circumstances. Inevitably there will be occasions where we do not always get it right.
"We welcome comments and complaints from members of the public, and as a public service we expect to be held to account. We endeavour to learn lessons from cases whether this be on an individual or organisational basis."
IPCC chair Nick Hardwick added: "Clearly, the public continues to feel greater confidence in the complaints process."