Suffolk Police Federation brands suspect arrest feedback form idea as ‘ridiculous’
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Police in Suffolk have branded a recommendation to canvas suspects’ views about being forcibly arrested as “ridiculous”,
Serving and retired police officers have recoiled at the suggestion of handing out ‘How Did We Do?’ customer feedback forms made in a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Suffolk Police Federation wryly suggested the next proposed move could be asking missing people if they thought they had been found quickly enough.
Mick Richardson, secretary of the federation, said: “I presume that the IPCC will be providing stamped addressed envelopes for the flood of complaints that will invariably be made.
“We don’t ‘sell’ a product. We provide a service. And that service is under ever-increasing pressures due to lower officer numbers and an increasing willingness for those who don’t want to be compliant to assault officers who are carrying out their duty to protect the communities in which they work and serve.
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“It’s ridiculous to ask someone who has been less than compliant if they think if we restrained them ‘nicely’.
“Perhaps the next bright idea from the IPCC will be to ask people who went missing if we found them fast enough – and provide them with another complaint mechanism.”
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Colin Sutton, a former Met Police murder squad Detective Chief Inspector who has retired to mid-Suffolk, said: “It’s daft, It’s just a crazy idea.
“It’s completely impractical. Every arrest by definition has an element of force. We are now going to invite people to give feedback on how they were restrained when put in handcuffs.
“It would create more bureaucracy and more form-filling. Police need to be allowed to get on with their jobs.”
It is feared the recommendation, if implemented, will spark a surge in the number of formal actions brought by criminals against police, who are already facing soaring levels of violence.
Last year there were 23,000 assaults on police in England and Wales.
Mr Richardson said: “The IPCC has produced a 105-page report into ‘police use of force’ and from that has produced 20 recommendations.
“The report states ‘People who had direct experience of police using force against them generally held more negative views than the general public’ and also ‘Public concern about how frequently police use force was relatively low (25%)’ and ‘In general, the public trust the police a lot or a fair amount to use reasonable force (83%)’.
“Those quotes alone indicate those individuals with whom we come into contact for all the wrong reasons, who end up getting arrested and restrained or more – if for no other reason than for the safety of the officer or officers – will obviously feel more negative about their experience than the general public, who are probably grateful that another offender has been removed from the streets. “
The questionnaire is being proposed in cases when a suspect has to be restrained and handcuffed.
The recommendation states: “We recommend that all police forces provide people who have had force used against them with information about how to give feedback about their experience, including information about making a complaint.
“Complaints are a valuable source of information that can help to improve police practice.”