Leicestershire  Police Federation

Lengthy IOPC investigations costing taxpayers millions of pounds each year

3 February 2021

Lengthy IOPC investigations costing taxpayers millions of pounds each year


Lengthy Independent Office for Police Conduct investigations cost taxpayers millions of pounds each year, new research has shown, revealing figures that Leicestershire Police Federation has said are “astronomical”.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has estimated that an IOPC investigation that lasts up to six months costs £15,101 per officer, which goes up by a factor of 20 – to £302,012 – when it drags on for five years or more.

The costs are even higher for suspended officers, where a six-to-12-month investigation costs approximately £67,968, and after five years it is a huge £453,115 per officer. This is due to forces having to replace officers while they are suspended.

The findings have been shared with MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee as part of its inquiry into the IOPC and the time taken to resolve complaints against police officers.

Leicestershire Police Federation Chairman Adam Commons said: “The figures released by PFEW show the stark reality of the ineffectiveness of the IOPC. I don’t remember figures like these ever being put into the public domain before, which is part of the reason they have been allowed to continue bungling along in their current format.

“What the numbers do show is that the longer the IOPC manages to drag out its investigation, the more astronomical the price, not only in monetary terms but also the health and wellbeing of my colleagues and their families, who have been made very ill by these ridiculously drawn-out investigations.”

Meanwhile the PFEW continues its Time Limits campaign, which launched in 2019 and pushes for investigations to be concluded within a year, highlighting the impact of long investigations on police officers, their families and colleagues, as well as public trust in policing.

Adam backs the campaign, saying: “What this new information proves is that our campaign through Time Limits would not only be better for my colleagues’ health but also save money within the public sector at a time where finances are stretched due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. I would hope these figures cause outrage from the public, who should now be asking if the IOPC provides them with the transparent and effective service that it claims to.”