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PUBLIC'S RAP FOR POLICE.

Byline: JAMES GLOVER Crime Reporter

COMPLAINTS against Merseyside police have rocketed by more than 44% in a year, statistics today revealed.

There were a total of 574 issues raised between April 2004 and the end of the year, a rise of 176 from the 398 incidents reported in the 2003 period.

Police today blamed the sudden rise on the creation of the Independent Police Complaints Commission - a new body aimed at encouraging residents to come forward if they are unhappy with the way cases are dealt with, whether they are the victim of an offence or not.

Chief Superintendent Dave Jones said: ``Any change in legislation and recording procedures that expands the categories of people who can make a complaint brings about increases in recorded data.

``This is to be welcomed as it presents a more accurate reflection of the problem``Even with this increase the level of complaints is extremely low with only four complaints against police being made for every 10,000 people in Merseyside.''

Statistics released by Merseyside Police Authority reveal the most dramatic rise in came in complaints that officers had failed or been neglectful when doing their job - a jump of 203%, from 35 in 2003 to 106 in 2004.

There were 146 complaints that officers had either physically or sexually assaulted members of the public, while 155 people reported officers for being rude or intolerant.

This increase, however, was below the national average of 45%. In Cheshire complaints rose by 88% while in Lancashire the figure rose by 55
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2005
Words:255
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