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Complaints against Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham police more than tripled after tri-borough merger

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 December 2017

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

Archant

Complaints against the police in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham more than tripled in the three months that followed the borough’s merging in January, new statistics reveal.

Figures recently released by the Metropolitan Police reveal the boroughs that make up the new tri-borough pathfinder recorded a total of 509 public complaint allegations in the 12 months from November last year.

In December, the month before tri-borough working began, the three boroughs recorded 19 complaints from members of the public, but by February this year, just two months after the merger, monthly complaints had risen to 65, a staggering 342pc rise in just three months.

A different report reveals 63 police officers and two members of backroom administrative staff within the East Area Command have been receiving support over conduct matters in the last year.

More than one-in-five officers whose conduct had been reviewed had been in the job for less than two years.

More worryingly, the percentage of substantiated complaints against officers has risen slightly in comparison to last year.

Between October 2016 and November this year 27pc of allegations against officers were deemed substantiated, as opposed to 25pc the year before.

Many residents of the three boroughs, including all three councils, have previously complained about worsening response times as a result of the tri-borough model.

A spokeswoman for the East Area Command acknowledged the Met had noticed a rise in complaints following the merger, but stressed that alterations had been made and that complaints were once again falling.

She said: “East Area BCU received a number of complaints regarding police procedures and lack of investigation.

“This was mainly due to the introduction of the borough command unit (BCU) merging three boroughs into one.

“It was recognised that having one ongoing CAD list covering three boroughs was problematic and as such steps have now been taken to return the BCU to three separate CAD lists.

“This has meant that complaints have returned to previous levels.

“The investigation of crimes also had some problems as a result of the merge and new investigating guidelines.

“These have now also been addressed and again complaints are back to previous levels.”

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