"Young men complain most about the police"

Published Date: 03.11.2011

Younger men are the people most likely in Northern Ireland to make a complaint about the police.

That is one of the findings from research published by the Police Ombudsman's Office from an analysis of the complaints in received over the last five years.

The Office, like all public bodies, is required by Equality legislation to monitor the background of the people who use it services. As part of this process the Office's 'Equality Monitoring Report' looked at the five year period from April 2006 until March 2011, when it received more than 16,000 complaints and in particular at those who gave details about personal characteristics.

The Report indicates that almost 50% of the complaints it received during that period were from men aged less than 45 years old.

A Police Ombudsman spokesman/woman said men aged less than 24 years are the group most likely to complain:

"There is some research evidence to suggest that young men may be more likely to come in contact with the police and because of the nature of the contact are more likely to either experience or allege inappropriate police behaviour."

The Report suggests that the greatest number of complainants - 48% - said they did not support any political party:

"Traditional Northern Ireland politics does not seem to be a factor when people make complaints about the police. There were no real differences in the types of allegations made against the police according to the broad category of political opinion stated by respondents in terms of either support for Unionism or Nationalism," said spokeswoman/man

Among the other trends the report has indicated is that 70% of the people who complained about police were men and 30% were women. 26% of people who complained said that they had a disability and 11% of people who complained were not born in Northern Ireland.

The full Police Ombudsman report has been published on its website: www.policeombudsman.org

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