The number of complaints against Hampshire Constabulary increased by 171 this year.

And the 26 per cent rise was the biggest percentage increase in complaints out of the 44 police forces in the country.

Figures released today in the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) annual report show the force received 648 complaints in 2010/2011 but 819 in 2011/2012.

There were a total number of 1,651 allegations made against police officers and staff in the force which was slightly below last year's total of 1,697.

The IPCC received 155 appeals from members of the public in total about Hampshire Constabulary's handling of their complaints- 28 about the force not recording a complaint at all.

The body completed 113 appeals against the force upholding 33 of them- which accounts for 29 per cent- and is fewer than the 38 per cent national result for upheld appeals.

There were 249 allegations recorded per 1,000 employees in the force- more than the national average of 213 allegations.

It comes as nationally the IPCC is dealing with an increasing number of appeals from people unhappy with the way their complaints have been handled by forces.

Detective Superintendent Colin Smith, head of the force's Professional Standards Department, encouraged people dissatisfied with the service to speak to them directly saying “identifying lessons to learn is part of the process of improving our service.”

He said: “The increase in the number of complaints this year comes following a 43 per cent drop in the previous year which balances out our position.”

He added: “It is important for us that all complaints are fairly and accurately recorded and effectively resolved so I'm pleased to see that the vast majority of appeals to the IPCC are not upheld which demonstrates our commitment to getting it right first time.”