Increase in allegations against police

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THE past year has seen a 13 per cent increase in the number of allegations made against police officers nationwide with the result for the Lothian and Borders mirroring this trend.

Some 7,933 allegations were received by the country’s eight forces compared with 7,009 in the previous 12 months. Numbers of complaints also rose by 4 per cent, from 4,206 to 4,379. Each complaint can involve several allegations.

Complaint cases against officers working in the Lothian and Borders force area rose from 8.9 per 10,000 population in 2010/11 to 9.3 over the past 12 months but still considerably lower than the 2008/9 result of 10.7.

The report, Police Complaints: Statistics for Scotland 2011-12, said the most common (36.9%) type of allegations disposed of nationwide were in the “irregular procedure” category, where it is thought officers have not carried out their duty well.

Incivility, where an officer is seen to have acted in a rude manner, made up 15.3% of the complaint allegations disposed of during the period.

A further 11.6% of the disposed-of allegations were “neglect of duty”, which relates to officers who are said to have failed to perform a duty such as submitting a report following an investigation.