19 May 2021
The chair of the Derbyshire branch has welcomed moves for the Federation to be involved in the training of new investigators for the police watchdog.
Tony Wetton said it was ‘a victory’ for the Federation’s Time Limits campaign, which calls for a 12-month cap on misconduct proceedings against officers, that the Federation will have a role in training Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) recruits.
He hopes it will help speed up the timeliness of investigations and ease the burden on officers under investigation.
Tony said: “For the Federation to be involved in the training of IOPC recruits is an important step forward. It’s a victory for our long-running Time Limits campaign.
“Protracted misconduct investigations are not in anyone’s interests. They’ve ruined many officers’ careers and impacted their health and that of family and colleagues, and they also undermine public confidence in the system.
“Improving the training for IOPC investigators will also make investigations fairer, helping them to decide whether cases should actually proceed and how they proceed.
“Although here in Derbyshire we have a positive and constructive relationship with our IOPC counterparts, including regularly inviting the IOPC to training events, that is not necessarily the case everywhere in the country. While maintaining the important independence of the IOPC, this development will hopefully improve those working relationships and the understanding of investigators.”
It’s hoped the ‘Meet the Fed’ sessions will lead to smoother relations between officers, their Federation reps and IOPC investigators.
The IOPC recruits will learn about the Police Federation’s conduct and performance liaison officers (CAPLOs) who support members from day one of a complaint and what they will require from them at each stage of an investigation. They will also receive Post-Incident Procedures (PIP) Level 1 and 2 training accredited by the College of Policing.
Phill Matthews, the Federation’s conduct and performance chair, will take part in the sessions.
He said: “This is an important and positive first step towards improving the relationship between IOPC investigators and Fed reps which should, in turn, make the disciplinary system fairer for everyone.
“By breaking down barriers, we can open discussions with its investigators on how our reps operate to not just support officers but also assist their investigations from day one. We want to help them make the process as smooth as possible.”
Phill added: “IOPC investigators now having access to PIP training is very welcome news and is something the Federation has been pressing hard for. All detectives are trained to this standard so it only seems right that IOPC investigators are also trained to this level or higher.
“Ultimately, all we want is fair investigators with the best possible training, gathering the evidence our members need to either clear themselves, or remove the minority of corrupt individuals from the service, in a timely manner.”