Two in five people in the South East aren't confident their complaints to the police are fairly dealt with according to a survey by the IPCC.
Out of 4000 people surveyed, 39% were either not very or not at all confident that the police would deal with their complaints against them fairly.
However, 72% of people were happy with their recent contact with police and 74% admitted they were willing to complain if they weren't happy with how a police officer behaved or handled a matter they were involved in.
IPCC Chair, Dame Anne Owers said, "This survey shows that too many people are still either unsure of how to make a complaint about the police or don’t believe their complaint will be dealt with fairly."
An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the death of a man at Gatwick airport has found no evidence of misconduct, after police used a taser gun to restrain him. The investigation found that Sussex Police officers acted appropriately by restraining Ernestas Anikinas.
Officers approached him as he was self inflicting neck injuries. Two officers used Tasers on Mr Anikinas which made him drop a broken bottle. He was restrained and officers administered first aid. Paramedics arrived but Mr Anikinas was pronounced dead at 4.20am.
The IPCC investigation, which concluded in August 2012, found no evidence of any criminal or misconduct offences but publication of the findings has awaited the inquest. On Wednesday, 10 April, an inquest jury at Horsham Coroner’s Court returned a verdict that Mr Anikinas took his own life.
A driver has died in a collision in Surrey after failing to stop for a police car. Surrey police said the driver and sole occupant of the silver Lexus died in Felcourt Road in Lingfield on Thursday evening.
The car was involved in collisions with three other vehicles. The force hasn't said whether the vehicle was being pursued by police, but the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. It has decided that Surrey Police should carry out the investigation.
The driver and sole occupant of the Lexus was pronounced dead at the scene. The occupants of one of the other vehicles were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where the driver is being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries. The passenger was treated for minor injuries.
Following a fatal collision in Felcourt Road, Lingfield on Thursday the Independent Police Complaints Commission has decided to refer the matter to Surrey Police for local investigation.
Having attended the scene of the collision and then Surrey Police Headquarters, where they listened to the recording of the pursuit, IPCC investigators have advised that the investigation can be carried out by Surrey Police.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating a complaint from the mother of an 11-year-old girl, about the way her daughter has been handled by Sussex Police.
The child, whose name has not been revealed, has Smith-Magenis Syndrome which has symptoms similar to autism.
Officers came into contact with the girl five times between 2nd February and 2nd March 2012 in Horsham and the surrounding area. Each time she was physically restrained, on four of those occasions she was arrested and taken to a police station. She was held overnight two times.
The girl's mother complained in July 2012 about police management of the issue, the way her daughter was restrained 'which appear to have included handcuffs and leg restraints' and the decisions to hold her in cells overnight. Sussex Police referred the case to the IPCC on 12th December 2012.
"The IPCC investigation is examining the nature and circumstances of the officers' interaction with the girl on five separate occasions in February and March 2012 to determine whether the degree of force and method of restraint used by officers was appropriate and in accordance with the law, the officers' training and force policy and procedure.
"The investigation is also looking at the appropriateness of the decision to place the girl in police cells on four occasions and to refer her to the Crown Prosecution Service for charging on one occasion.
"These are very serious complaints about the treatment of an 11-year-old girl suffering from Smith-Megenis Syndrome and I will ensure that they are investigated thoroughly.”
Hampshire Police say that they are continuously working to improve their service following the announcement that complaints against the force have risen 26%.
“Our priority as a force is to provide an excellent service to the communities we serve across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the complaints procedure is an important part of that.
“The increase in the number of complaints this year comes following a 43 per cent drop in the previous year which balances out our position.
“It is important for us that all complaints are fairly and accurately record and effectively resolved so I’m pleased to see that the vast majority of appeals to the IPCC are not upheld which demonstrates our commitment to getting it right first time.”
– Detective Superintendent Colin Smith is head of Hampshire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department.