The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and scrutinises allegations of serious police misconduct.
In October, the Home Secretary wrote to IOPC Director General Michael Lockwood asking him to provide a comprehensive plan for delivering improvements, to ensure that police officers can work as effectively as possible and so that the IOPC was held to account. The Home Secretary has requested a further update from the Director General in May this year.
She asked for a response addressing specific concerns around the following areas:
- timeliness of investigations
- quality of investigations
- scrutiny of decision-making
- impact of the IOPC, including plans for transparency and evidence
The IOPC report details its plans for changes and improvements in these areas, as well as a timeline of key milestones to April 2021.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
The vast majority of police perform their duties with the utmost professionalism – and I have been clear they have my full support.
The progress made by the IOPC on the effectiveness and timeliness of investigations is positive for both officers and the public, but clearly further improvement is required and I will continue to scrutinise the IOPC’s performance.
Proposed actions detailed within the report, many of which are already underway, include:
- a new streamlined investigation process for lower-risk cases, which has helped to reduce the average time it takes to complete investigations
- a multi-disciplinary Critical Case Panel, chaired by the Director General, which now oversees particularly complex or high-risk cases to ensure cross-organisational support and assurance that work is properly resourced
- new opportunities for users to feedback and challenge the IOPC’s work, including the introduction of restorative practice debriefs, which will allow users to discuss any concerns directly with IOPC staff
- an External Stakeholder Reference Group consisting of a range of statutory and non-statutory external stakeholders, to challenge and influence work
- developing a three-year communications strategy to raise better awareness of the IOPC’s role and impact
IOPC Director General Michael Lockwood said:
This report highlights the significant progress the IOPC is making in our work as we continue to strengthen our impact and make a real difference to policing, operationally, organisationally and culturally.
Our plans are ambitious, and we are determined to bring about continued further improvements in our own work and across broader policing practice.
- February 28, 2020 at 11:34 am by Editor (displayed above)
- February 28, 2020 at 11:34 am by Editor