A POLICE force has dismissed figures which show that complaints against officers have doubled.

North Yorkshire Police recorded 89 allegations in the three months leading up to December 31, compared with 46 for the same period in 2003.

Police chiefs said the increase was due to better recording standards for complaints and officers working harder to resolve complaints.

They also said it was unfair to compare figures collected before new recording standards were brought in last year, because these had increased the number of complaints for all forces.

In a report to the police authority, Chief Constable Della Cannings said that only three of the complaints had been substantiated, relating to two officers. Both had received warnings.

She said that of the 247 complaints recorded since April 1 last year, at least 32 were made by people facing criminal proceedings.

Ms Cannings said: "The increase in recorded cases is in excess of authoritative predictions and is believed to be a reflection of the benefit of training, which has contributed to an increased awareness of complaint recording and local resolution procedures amongst frontline supervisors."

According to the report, allegations included:

* A claim that a mother was not allowed to be present when police officers spoke to her child at school;

* Two allegations that an officer failed to identify himself or inform the complainant of the reason for his arrest;

* Twenty-four complaints that an officer or member of police staff refused to carry out an expected action.

Since April 1 last year, 37 complaints have been made in North Yorkshire's central area, 61 in the eastern area and 56 in the western area.

The current average complaint investigation time is 64 days, well below the national target average of 120 days.