29 April 2022
The Police Federation of England and Wales welcomes many of the recommendations set out in the Home Affairs Committee report on police conduct and complaints, notably the introduction of an independent chair for the IOPC and more funding for PCCs and PSD departments so they can be resourced properly.
We have already begun work in areas which will support the majority of the suggestions put forward by the report, and will continue to do so.
One recommendation states that a statutory framework must be used for fair and transparent outcomes for investigations. The Government states it welcomes improvements on timelines of investigations and post investigation phases.
PFEW has already put forward an amendment around this specific topic, which received cross party support in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Government has since refused to engage with us on this, which is disappointing and contradictory to the recommendation laid out in the report. We hope the Government will revisit our amendment and agree to work with us on this going forward to achieve the best outcome possible.
We disagree with the suggestion that PFEW is responsible for delays to investigations. When previously challenged on this, the IOPC could only suggest four cases where there were delays and in three of these, delay was actually due to the IOPC themselves. Despite having a new duty of cooperation standard it is worth noting that the IOPC has never, to our knowledge, had to invoke it which shows that officers do comply with investigations.
PFEW will continue to work to ensure that everything possible is done to improve this process and we look forward to collaborating with all relevant parties and organisations going forward.