Police Federation

PFEW responds to IOPC police complaints statistics for 2022/23

IOPC police complaints statistics for the year 2022/23 reveal the reality behind the headlines on police complaints and highlights the holes in the Government's rhetoric 

7 October 2023


Last week the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) published its annual figures on police complaints made in 2022/23.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is encouraged that changes made in February 2020 are now embedded across almost all forces, though acknowledges that data recorded should still be interpreted with caution and treated as experimental.

The increase in overall complaints, up 8 per cent over 2021/22, reflects that the new procedure provides the public with more recourse to complain in a variety of ways, confirmed with a 12 per cent drop in complaints being recorded formally.

This demonstrates the new system allows for more complaints to be recorded and resolved informally, freeing up time so our members can be out on the beat where they belong.

More than 92 per cent of complaints handled informally were resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, evidencing that the process is fit for purpose and allows appropriate remedy without need for further investigation.

That the “most commonly recorded complaint type (55%) continues to relate to police service delivery, things such as a lack of updates or delays in responses”, serves to reinforce our claims on the lack of police numbers and the scarcity of resources across all forces, putting to the sword the Government’s claim that we have the highest number of officers because of the Police Uplift Programme and that it is investing more than ever before in policing.

PFEW National Board members and conduct and performance leads, Mel Warnes and Phil Jones commented:

Despite an increase in the number of complaints in 2022/23, it is positive to see complaints are being logged and dealt with in a timelier manner.

A quicker outcome can only be a positive for our members.

“As a complaint can be resolved quickly, providing the complainant is satisfied, it is good to see less complaints were dealt with under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002, showing that positive early engagement with the complainant with an explanation means less of our members are subject to lengthy investigations following the complaint.”


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