Harrogate police

North Yorkshire Police receive 740 public complaints between April 2021 to April 2022

24 January 2023

Published statistics have shown that North Yorkshire Police receive 2 complaints per day, and 1% of complaints lead to a misconduct hearing.

  • From April 2021 to April 2022 there were 740 public complaint allegations recorded against 352 individual officers
  • In that same period, there were 8 published misconduct hearing outcomes
  • Although it is noted that a complaint may not be dealt with in the same year, the statistics show that around 1% of complaints lead to a misconduct hearing

See Misconduct Outcomes 2021-2022

The definition of a complaint is ‘any dissatisfaction with the police service’.

Misconduct is much more serious. It’s a breach of the professional standards so serious as to justify disciplinary action

and it’s not always uncovered through a complaint by a member of the public. It may come to light as a result of a member of staff reporting their concerns about a colleague, a crime report, a supervisor referring a member of staff due to their conduct, or as the result of an incident that has not been handled correctly.

In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said:

The vast majority of our officers and staff are honest, hardworking and act with integrity. But we are not complacent and know that there will be a number within our force who are not. When misconduct is found, we will take action.

We encourage anyone who has any concerns about an officer or staff member they have come into contact with, to please report it to us.


Comment from Tim Cook, Editor of Harrogate Informer:

There are a few things that jump out from the statistics. Firstly, North Yorkshire Police receive over 2 complaints per day, and secondly, how few of those complaints go to a misconduct hearing.

You could conclude that either the complaints are unfounded or that the complaints are not being investigated sufficiently.

While it is clear those that come into contact with the police are not always the most reasonable types, more needs to be understood about this area, and there needs to be greater accountability.

A complaint may lead to other action, and it would place the Police in a good position to show that.

Incidently the dialogue on this topic was shut down by North Yorkshire Police, being told if I had more queries then I needed to use the Freedom of Information (FOI) process. That is a shame as the their need to be guarded with the facts has led to a less useful news item for them, for this news website and the public.

The figures also make you question if the raising of a complaint could have been avoided in the first place, with  the police working more on their processes in how they work with people.

And of course it is easy to glibly say “work on processes”, when the police, like many blue-light services, are already over stretched.


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