Police professional | “Significant Improvements” to Complaints System Over Last Year, According to IOPC

“Significant Improvements” to Complaints System Over Last Year, According to IOPC

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) says it has made “significant improvements” in the timeliness of investigations, with more than 90 percent completed within 12 months.

Sep 20, 2021

By Paul Jacques

Michael lockwood

The IOPC Impact Report 2020/21, released Friday, September 17, shows that 91% of “baseline” investigations were completed within 12 months, up from 83% the year before.

This compares to 82% in 2018/19 and 69% in 2017/18.

This does not include “major investigations” – which the IOPC refers to as “large-scale or more complex cases such as the Hillsborough investigation”.

The Police Federation of England and Wales has lobbied Parliament to conclude police disciplinary inquiries within 12 months of an allegation being made as part of its campaign on deadlines.

He tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which have already won all-party support, that would give legally qualified persons the power to impose time limits on investigations that have dragged on for a year.

The IOPC report shows that over the past year:

  • Started 465 independent investigations and completed 460;
  • We handled over 1,600 appeals or requests for a review of a police service’s handling of a complaint, of which we confirmed 526;
  • Made 216 learning recommendations. Ten percent of its learning recommendations related to police response to domestic violence and 16 percent related to custody; and
  • Received over 4,670 force referrals – a 7% increase from 2019/20. Despite this, he decided on the “mode of investigation” as part of his goal of three working days 82% of the time.

IOPC CEO Michael Lockwood said: “It has been a difficult but very successful year for the organization, in which we have continued to use learning recommendations to improve the public service experience. of our police forces and also help officers do their jobs better.

“I am proud that over the past three years we have made significant improvements to the complaints system. The police have powers which can impact on the liberty and lives of individuals and it is essential that the public have confidence that these powers are used correctly, appropriately and responsibly.

“The latest results of our stakeholder surveys have been positive and our increased efforts to engage with stakeholders have been greatly appreciated. We have benefited greatly from spending time with communities across the country and listening to their issues and concerns. This means that we can focus on what is important to them. This year, we have met over 300 community groups and organizations, obtained positive feedback and valuable insight from those conversations.

“We are confident that our organization is well prepared for the challenges ahead and look forward to the opportunities presented by the ever-changing landscape and our increased role within it. “

Over the past three years, the IOPC Fund has made more than 400 learning recommendations aimed at improving policing in areas such as tactical prosecutions, criminal harassment and search warrants. It has completed nearly 1,900 investigations, completed more than 3,000 reviews of local inquiries into cases of death or serious injury, and handled more than 6,000 valid appeals from individuals dissatisfied with the outcome or handling of their complaint. the police.

The IOPC said the Covid-19 pandemic presented “new challenges” for law enforcement as well as changes in our lives and work.

In addition, he said there were “growing concerns” from communities about stops and searches, the use of tasers, discrimination and the disproportionate use of force.

“In response to these, a thematic review of stop and search investigations involving the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) was conducted and a number of recommendations to improve these MPS interactions with the public were made,” he said. declared the IOPC. In addition, a review of over 100 independent Taser investigations was also launched, with learning recommendations released in the summer of 2021.

“Since the creation of the IOPC in 2018, awareness among young people of our organization has increased, as has the confidence of stakeholders in our work. The confidence of people of black, Asian or minority origin that the police will treat their complaints fairly has also increased. “

The IOPC said its customer contact center handles around 500 calls each week between April 2020 and March 2021.

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