AN overall fall in the number of complaints against the police masks wide discrepancies in the way police forces handle them, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said today.

The national police complaints statistics for England and Wales 2017/18 show that some forces choose to formally investigate most allegations made against them, while others use the less formal ‘local resolution’ process. This points to an "overly complex" complaints system.

On average, it took West Yorkshire Police 122 working days to investigate an allegation, compared to 173 nationally.

For allegations finalised by local resolution, it took an average of 28 working days to resolve the allegation, compared to 72 days nationally.

A number of changes to the complaints system will be introduced in 2019.