DURHAM and Cleveland Police both saw a significant drop in the number of complaints made against them in the last year.

But North Yorkshire Police saw a 14 per cent rise in complaints in the 12-months between September 2016 to 2017, according to the annual Police Complaints Statistics for England and Wales report.

The report, published by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) shows that complaints against Cleveland officers fell by a quarter, and a similar decline was seen in Durham, with a 21 per cent decrease.

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Nationally there were 34,103 complaint cases made against police forces in 2016-17, with the most common recorded under the ‘other neglect or failure in duty’ category.

Cleveland Police Temporary Chief Constable Simon Nickless said the Teesside figures demonstrated the “very positive work” undertaken by the force to improve the delivery of complaints investigations.

He added: “These results are directly connected to the work of Cleveland Police and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to transform the way we look at issues of standards and ethics.

“We are in the process of establishing a new, modern, framework which further transforms how we deal with complaints and investigations and these results show the progress we are making.

“We are not complacent and will continue to strive to provide the best possible service to our communities in all areas of our work.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “This report, by the independent police standards watchdog, is further evidence of the significant improvements made in recent times by Cleveland Police.

“I applaud the hard work of officers and staff who work hard to address public concerns and complaints as part of our move towards becoming a national beacon of best practice for police standards and ethics."

Durham Constabulary recorded 314 complaints in 2016/17, compared to the 399 made the previous year.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “As the top performing police force in the country, we have been working hard to provide the best possible service to the people of County Durham and Darlington.

“We have recently made our complaints system more accessible and easier to use.

“This includes having our leaflets transcribed into six different languages, and making it more straightforward to file complaints both on and offline.

“It is therefore reassuring to see that, despite it being easier than ever to file a complaint, the numbers of people doing so has dropped.

“However, it is vital that on the occasions where we do fall short of delivering the appropriate level of service, that people have the confidence to report it to us so that we can acknowledge it as soon as possible, and do everything we can to put it right.”

North Yorkshire Police were unable to provide a comment before the time of going to press.

Security firm https://www.locksmithservice.co.uk/ has compiled a map and report on the national breakdown of complaints for each force.