Senior police officers in Aberdeen have pledged to improve their public service – despite the force receiving just 300 complaints from more than 70,000 incidents.
A total of 315 complaints were made regarding policing in Aberdeen city between spring 2020 and February this year.
Of those, 40 were directly related to Covid-19.
Officers responded to more than 73,000 incidents in the period concerned, meaning just 0.4% of incidents resulted in complaints.
A report to councillors revealed North East Division has a high satisfaction rate of 72%.
Despite the high rate of success Chief Superintendent George Macdonald – the north-east’s most senior officer – told Aberdeen City Council’s public protection committee the force is committed to doing better.
And he said councillors officers have often borne the brunt of the public’s frustration with coronavirus rules.
“Officers within Aberdeen are dealing with more than 70,000 incidents per year and on average we receive 276 complaints per year [across five years,” he said.
“We don’t always get every element we deal with right and there are often elements we can reflect, learn and improve upon.
“I would suggest in the vast majority of occasions we do provide an excellent service and the interactions we have with the public are very positive.
“There is no complacency from me or my officers, and there are always opportunities to improve or enhance our service.
“There were 40 complaints throughout the 12-month period. At times during the pandemic we were one of the few public-facing organisations still working and perhaps did find a brunt of frustration was very much focused on us because we had face-to-face interactions.
“It was challenging for the public and confusing at times, and often we found ourselves bearing the brunt of that.
“However, in terms of all our interactions I still believe that is a reasonable performance.”
Committee convener Jennifer Stewart praised the police for their performance over the period specified.
She said: “It is good to hear the levels of satisfaction for the police remain high.
“You [the police] have been in the firing line for the whole time. That’s not easy on a human level and I think the figures are very good.”