Details released of complaints against police officers

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Use of foul language, threatening to use pepper spray and attempting to kick a dog are among accusations levelled at Wigan police officers.

Details of the sometimes bizarre complaints have been released by Greater Manchester Police to the Evening Post under Freedom of Information laws.

Other causes of grievances include one resident being threatened with a Taser and another occasion an officer was said to have been “patronising” to a fracking protester.

One resident also reported to have been subjected to unnecessary strip searches.

Force figures from earlier this year showed 100 complaints were recorded against Wigan division officers in 2014/15, 40 of which related to claims of “incivility, impoliteness and intolerance.”

A majority of such complaints were concluded with a “local resolution” meaning no further action was necessary.

And details of these incidents are what have been revealed in the raft of information seen by the Evening Post.

One complainant said an officer told them: “You are lucky we have not got a Taser otherwise you would have been Tasered.”

Meanwhile in another alleged incident, an officer was accused of telling one resident: “Get down on the floor now or you’re getting pepper sprayed.”

One reads: “The complainant alleges a sergeant who attempted to stop them filming a protest at Barton Moss spoke to him in a patronising manner.”

Another states: “(Complainant) alleges (they were) approached by a Police Community Support Officer who began to behave in an aggressive and inconsiderate manner. Also alleges the PCSO tried to kick their dog.”

Meanwhile one resident complained: “The officer keeps stopping me for no reason and strip searching me.”

Local resolutions occur when even if the allegation was proven it would not justify further action against the officer in question. Or, when an apology had been offered to the complainant or the complaint is deemed to be unfounded.

Lead officers earlier this year said a more rigorous reporting system has been put in place by the force, which may in part account increased figures in relation to complaint handing, which has remained at the 100 mark between 2013 and 2015.

Chief Insp Gareth Hughes told the Evening Post the force is “confident” in the standards displayed by officers. He added: “We are satisfied with the reduction in complaints and are confident that the actions taken and the standards expected of all officers and staff will continue to contribute to a reduction in overall complaints in the future.”