Page last updated Thursday 10th December 2015 at 1615hrs
The IPCC was established by the Police Reform Act 2002 and became operational in April 2004. Its primary statutory purpose is to increase public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales. They also investigate the most serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales, as well as handling appeals from people who are not satisfied with the way police have dealt with their complaint.
Following the dissolution of it’s thoroughly discredited predecessor, the Police Complaints Authority, the IPCC was, principally, set up to investigate independently of the police in serious cases such as death in custody or, at a lower level, review the findings of police-on-police investigations concerning complaints from members of the public.
The IPCC are, in theory, a better instrument than the PCA but they still see their principal function as protecting the image of the police – and will generally bend over backwards to accept the police version in any complaint. In other words, a complainant will be required to have substantive proof of their complaint, almost to criminal standard, yet the officer’s response will always be taken at face value. However, unlikely the police version of events seems to be.
The model was always likely to be flawed, in any event, as a number of key staff simply moved over from the PCA to the IPCC
In this most recent section of the uPSD website we will be looking at the individuals whose failings have reduced the IPCC to the level of national laughing stock and in the words of Home Affairs Committee Chairman, Keith Vaz MP, left the public “utterly faithless”. Read HASC’s full reports by clicking here.
The IPCC’s officers set to come under scrutiny include former Deputy Chair Deborah Glass, Operations Director, David Knight, and his North area casework manager, Jon-Paul Napier, the four most recent West Yorkshire Commissioners Gary Garland, Nicholas Long, Cindy Butts and the now departed, Kathryn Stone. Another senior IPCC official, based at their Wakefield office and who has difficultly with the truth, Sunny Bhalla, will also join the line up.
Ex West Yorkshire Police Head of Professional Standards, Joe Penrose, who left WYP to join the IPCC, at its inception, as Senior Investigator will also feature strongly. As will another ex-WYP detective, Ernest Brentnall.
A more junior entrant is a relatively recent recruit to the IPCC, the unutterably pompous and frighteningly incompetent Graeme Thame.
There are also a raft of IPCC lawyers who will feature in this section on a composite page, including Head of Legal Department, David Emery, and a list of his subordinates that include “bullish” Hillsborough lawyer Helen Wood and Glynis Craig.