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IPCC responds to Home Secretary’s proposals on transfer of resources

Monday, 13 May 2013

Press Release

IPCC responds to Home Secretary’s proposals on transfer of resources

13 May 2013

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has today published its response to the Home Secretary’s proposal to transfer resources from individual police forces to the IPCC to allow it to expand its work and undertake more independent investigations.

The IPCC’s response focuses on two areas: more independent investigations in serious and sensitive cases and greater oversight of the complaints system.

Dame Anne Owers, Chair of the IPCC, said: "We welcome the opportunity to extend and strengthen our work. We must ensure that we protect our independence, and have therefore made clear that we believe that any transfer of resources from police forces must be financial and not personnel, so that we can select the staff best able to do the work.

"Our ability to investigate serious and sensitive matters independently is crucial to public confidence in both us and policing. We need the flexibility and resource to allow us to do this effectively. It is right that police forces will continue to deal with the great majority of complaints, with the support of their professional standards departments. But we want to be able to strengthen our oversight in this area, to improve complaints handling by forces, and to ensure that lessons are learnt and change police practice. This is crucial to increasing public confidence.”

The IPCC’s response sets out five key principles for its work

Ensuring and strengthening independence

Ensuring that the IPCC has and can use all the powers it needs to act independently and robustly; welcoming Ministers’ commitment to legislate to fill some current gaps

Capacity to undertake more independent investigations and to carry them out thoroughly and in a timely way

Greater capacity to oversee the police complaints system and improve the way complaints are dealt with

Identifying themes and ensuring that lessons from our work feed into improved practice; working with other oversight, accountability and standard-setting bodies.

It also sets out three other elements that need to be in place:

Sufficient capacity and skills within police forces’ own professional standards departments to monitor, train and act on integrity issues

More radical reform of the complaints system, which is complex, bureaucratic and slow

A review of police disciplinary processes to make them more transparent and introduce a greater element of independence.

The IPCC’s published response to the Home Secretary can be found here.