THE number of complaints about police in West Mercia has more than doubled according to new figures.

The latest report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct shows that the number of complaints about West Mercia has risen in the last two years.

Figures for 2020/21 show there have been 1,495 complaint cases logged across West Mercia in that time.

This is up from 560 in 2019/20 and 713 in 2018/19.

Of these, the majority were concerning "police policies, powers and behaviours" and "individual behaviours" of officers.

In response to the figures, West Mercia Police said it takes all complaints against it seriously.

Superintendent Rebecca Love said: "West Mercia Professional Standards Team is a dedicated team looking at reports of dissatisfaction made by members of the public regarding the service provided by the force.

"They deal with a large number of reports, which are handled in line with the regularity requirements, and overseen by the IOPC.

"All matters reported are taken very seriously and undergo thorough review and investigation where appropriate to identify any wrongdoing by officers or staff.

"The figures show a small percentage of the overall reports received relate to sexual misconduct, abuse of process and discriminatory behaviour.

"West Mercia Police prides itself on its high standards and excellent service delivery to the public and will continue to record and investigate complaints thoroughly now and in the future."

Of all complaints and allegations made in 2020/21, one was for sexual misconduct, 11 were for abuse of position and 53 were for discrimination.

As defined by the IOPC, complaints are not necessarily all formal and can be verbal and non-official.

The report states: "A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction raised by or on behalf of a member of the public to a police force.

"A complaint does not have to be made in writing and does not have to state explicitly that it is a complaint."

On average it took four days for a complainant to be contacted by West Mercia in 2020/21.

This is in addition to five days for a complaint to be logged.