Derbyshire Police Federation

Director general outlines progress within IOPC

6 March 2020

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed moves by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to develop greater cooperation with the Police Federation to improve timeliness of investigations.

The action is included in a new report by the IOPC's director general, Michael Lockwood, on the efficiency, effectiveness and profile of the police watchdog.

Tony said: “We look forward to maintaining and building on our relationship with the IOPC to ensure the best outcomes for our members in the future.

“It’s not in the interests of the public, the police service or individual officers for these investigations to drag on. They can and do have a huge impact on officers’ lives.

“We have long called for investigations to be completed within 12 months of the allegation and will continue to push for this through the national Federation’s Time Limits campaign.

“It’s encouraging to see Mr Lockwood acknowledge some of the IOPC’s investigations have taken too long and that he’s looking to address it.

“That should include a focus on training investigators – particularly around disclosure – and for all outstanding legacy cases to be urgently reviewed to establish if they can be closed off sooner rather than later.”

Mr Lockwood’s report was responding to a letter from the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, asking him to provide a comprehensive plan for delivering improvements in the timeliness and quality of investigations as well as better scrutiny around any decision-making.

Proposed actions included in the report include:

  • A new streamlined investigation process for lower-risk cases, which has helped to reduce the average time it takes to complete investigations.
  • Engaging extensively with the Federation and other staff associations to develop a respectful relationship and greater co-operation to action any concerns.
  • 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.

Ms Patel, who has requested a further update from Mr Lockwood in May, 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.”

Mr 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.”

 

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