DORSET Police has had its lowest number of complaints in 2011-2012 with a drop of 11 per cent.

It is the first time in three years the number has fallen. The local picture reflects the national one where there has been a fall in the number of complaint cases recorded by police forces for the second year running.

It comes after the Independent Police Complaints Commission published its annual report. There were 363 allegations during 2011 to 2012 compared to 410 allegations in 2010 to 2011.

Superintendent Tim Whittle, who is head of the professional standards department, said: “Dorset Police takes all complaints very seriously and we invest considerable resource to ensure that, firstly, we reduce the likelihood of incidents that may attract complaint, and, secondly, that we resolve and learn from our mistakes.

“We are pleased to see a reduction of recorded complaint cases compared with the previous year and we are also pleased that our recording of complaints is extremely timely.”

Since 2010 a total of 259 allegations have been investigated by the force and 88 per cent of cases were not upheld. Just 32 allegations were upheld.

Supt Whittle said that a large number of complaints are dealt with locally in Dorset but that if they cannot satisfy the complaint the force encourages appeals to the IPCC.

He added: “A 24-hour a day service, last year Dorset Police dealt with hundreds of thousands of incidents and took hundreds of thousands of calls from members of the public.

“A significant proportion of the people that we help are in difficult and challenging situations.”