Complaints of police ‘incivility’ on the rise

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd
Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd

WIGAN police officers have been warned to mind their manners after a rise of complaints.

A standards report submitted to police commissioner Tony Lloyd earlier this year showed public objections had doubled compared to the year before.

And division bosses have told the Evening Post that staff have been instructed to swot up on the force’s code of ethics.

The report, covering the year 2013/14, showed 108 complaints had been received from the public in relation to Wigan division. For the same period in 2012/13 there were 54.

Across Greater Manchester Police, the number jumped from 1162 to 1536, an increase of 32 per cent.

Wigan Ch Insp Gareth Hughes said force bosses have taken immediate action to address the issue and measures have already had an effect.

He said: “There was a discussion between Wigan division and the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) which resulted in a second review in June 2014.

“This covered the period January to May and when compared to the same time period in 2013, there had been a reduction in the numbers of complaints by nine per cent.”

The number of complaints across the force as a whole for “incivility, impoliteness and intolerance” saw a rise from 491 to 703.

In Wigan, the incivility complaints per 100 employees rose from four in 2012/13 to 13 last year.

Ch Insp Hughes added: “The code of ethics has been circulated to all divisional staff including key messages and divisional data around the high rate of incivility complaints made against Wigan divisional officers.

“This has been backed up in the established team and supervisor briefings that are held on a weekly basis across the division. The code of ethics will be promoted even more in early 2015 when workshops will be delivered to all divisional teams and staff.

“There has been significant activity by the division to raise awareness around complaints against police and specific activity directed towards teams or individuals identified within both subsequent PSB products.”

“The division looks forward to future PSB reviews and is confident that the actions taken and the standards expected of all officers and staff will contribute to a reduction in overall complaints in the future.”