18 September 2020
Hard-hitting evidence collected as part of the national Police Federation’s Time Limits campaign is due to be reviewed by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC).
The campaign was launched last year to highlight the need for investigations into officers’ conduct to be concluded within 12 months of an allegation being made.
Case studies giving graphic details of the devastating effect long-drawn-out inquiries can have on officers’ lives have been shared with MPs on the HASC.
The evidence highlights the experience of Metropolitan Police officer PC Adrian Daly, a firearms officer falsely accused of assault. It took nearly three years for him to clear his name and the Police Federation of England and Wales even took evidence from his wife to demonstrate the overwhelming impact of the inquiry into his conduct.
MPs will now review the full report during a formal inquiry into how the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) handles complaints and how much public trust and confidence there is in the complaints system.
The chair of Derbyshire Police Federation, Tony Wetton, said: “We know that protracted disciplinary investigations have ruined the careers of many colleagues, affected their mental health and put pressure on their home lives and loved ones.
“The Time Limits campaign has helped demonstrate that very clearly.”
The Federation’s national conduct and performance lead, Phill Matthews, added: “We appreciate this opportunity to share the stark findings of our campaign and we are encouraged by the IOPC admitting there is room for improvement and is willing to work with us, as that hasn’t always been the case.
“It is also pleasing to see more accountability within the IOPC and forces as they are now required to provide an explanation to Police and Crime Commissioners when investigations take longer than a year.
“But we will be asking the committee to consider a system where breaching the time limits has consequences on the ability to proceed because the issue of investigations rumbling on for more than a year still continues and enough is enough.”