SUSSEX Police is among the forces to have recorded the most complaints including six allegations about sexual conduct, a new report states.

The IOPC report found that Sussex Police logged the fourth highest number of complaint cases across England and Wales, with 3,304.

However, the force has said recent figures published by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) do not reflect the entire picture and should be "treated with caution".

Top ten police forces (England and Wales only) by number of logged complaint cases

  1. Metropolitan Police: 8,375
  2. West Midlands Police: 4,102
  3. Kent Police: 3,593
  4. Sussex Police: 3,304
  5. West Yorkshire Police: 3,234
  6. Thames Valley Police: 2,960
  7. Greater Manchester Police: 2,161
  8. Avon and Somerset Police: 1,984
  9. South Wales Police: 1,886
  10. Merseyside Police: 1,842

A complaint case may include one or more allegations.

Over the last financial year, the report states Sussex Police logged 4,393 allegations; the fifth highest among forces in England and Wales.

Of those, 2,335 complained about the delivery of duties and service, 90 regarding the handling of or damage to property/premises, 84 for discriminatory behaviour, 23 for abuse of position/corruption and six about sexual conduct.

The report is the first to take place since new complaints legislation came into force, with the IOPC noting that "some forces will choose to handle matters in a different way to other forces".

Sussex Police said they had been over-recording complaints compared with other forces "in line with our commitment to be transparent in our complaints handling and relationship with the IOPC and the public".

She added that some 1,900 complaints out of the overall total were handled outside the formal complaints process.

The police force introduced a public confidence team earlier this year, handling over 1,000 expressions of dissatisfaction.

The force said that 90 per cent of cases were dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant with without the need to record formal complaints, with half being finalised within 48 hours.

The spokeswoman said that Sussex Police also receive a "significant number of compliments" from the public about the way they manage incidents.

Deputy Chief Constable Julia Chapman said: "I expect the highest personal and professional standards of anyone who works for us in accordance with the force's values, the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

"Any allegations of behaviour that do not meet those standards are rigorously investigated.

"I am extremely proud of the staff, officers and volunteers working for Sussex Police."

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