Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker said: “We recognise the headline 66 per cent increase year on year in the number of complaints recorded could be alarming, but the figure doesn’t explain a significant change to the way we have recorded complaints in 2015.
“For many years we have worked to resolve complaints or concerns about our service under a ‘service recovery’ approach which would not have been previously recorded. Service recovery is our response to complaints around issues such as failing to meet an appointment with a victim or witnesses, not returning calls or providing updates on investigations, and through this process we endeavoured to resolve the issue rather than record the issue.
“The IPCC have been interested in how we used this process and whilst they recognise its effectiveness, in 2015 they did ask us to record it as a local resolution if the issue had not been resolved within 48 hours. This explains the significant increase in the recorded statistics.
“The conduct and standards of our officers and staff is regularly scrutinised by the Police and Crime Commissioner and at the last public performance meeting we reported that the level of complaints recorded, excluding the change in recording practice, had increased by 6.8 per cent overall.
“On a daily basis the officers, staff and volunteers of Staffordshire Police conduct themselves to the highest possible standards of professional behaviour. It is what we expect and what the community deserves.”