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Police (Complaints)

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of complaints made against the police in 1977 and 1978, respectively; in each case, how many were not pursued; what were the reasons, including the numbers in each case, why such complaints were not pursued; and how many were pursued and therefore referred to the Police Complaints Board.

In 1977 a total of 27,450 complaints were made against members of police forces in England and Wales. Of the 16,935 complaints completed by the end of the year, 7,917 were withdrawn or not proceeded with, the complainants having given written notification that they withdrew the complaints or did not wish any further action to be taken on them. After 1977, for the reasons given in chapter IX of the report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, 1978, statistical returns from police forces to the Home Office were made on the basis of complaints completed instead of complaints received. In 1978 a total of 28,234 complaints were completed in England and Wales, of which 12,955 were withdrawn or not proceeded with. The Police Complaints Board came into operation on 1 June 1977 and only complaints relating to police officers' conduct on or after that date had to be referred to the board. The reports of the board show that it dealt with 2,249 complaints in 1977, and 13,079 in 1978.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, having regard to table VI of the 1978 report of the Police Complaints Board, he will state in how many cases, where charges were preferred under section 2(1) and 2(3) complaints, convictions were obtained, for each type of complaint listed; and what was the range of penalties imposed.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to a question by him on 15 January.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases, in each of the last three years, where complaints had been made against the police, police officers subsequently took out libel suits against those who had made complaints.

I have asked chief officers of police for such information as may be available. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.