Dealing with IPCC

Page last updated on Wednesday 23rd October 2013 at 1505hrs

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was formed in 2004. It’s powers are vested in the Police Reform Act 2002 and, as a branch of the Home Office, its sole remit is ‘to increase public confidence in the police complaints system’.

Its principal contact with the wider public is through the Appeal system when police forces do not record complaints or the police have investigated a complaint inappropriately.

The IPCC is a replacement body for its disgraced predecessor, the Police Complaints Authority, which had totally lost credibility as a public service capable of investigating, or ruling on, complaints against police officers or police civilian workers.

Sadly, the IPCC has gone the same way with a large number of disastrous, high profile outcomes where the deplorable level of incompetence and partiality has destroyed its reputation.

Mark Camm, Ian Tomlinson, Mark Saunders, Sean Rigg, Jean Charles de Menezes, Lee Balkwell, Mark Duggan, Azele Rodney are just some who lost their life following police contact and these tragic events were followed by IPCC investigations characterised by deceit, misinformation and basic failings designed only to protect the police from culpability.

A recent BBC Panorama programme ‘Who’s Watching the Detectives?’ ruthlessly and relentlessly exposed the huge IPCC organisational failings connected with Deaths in Custody. uPSD assisted with the production of that programme and, from our own knowledge, the Panorama programme represented only the more visible tip of a very deep iceberg.

An utterly damning Home Affairs Select Committee report published on 1st February 2013, which was hugely critical of performance, effectiveness and low public standing of the IPCC, simply confirmed what uPSD already knew. This was underscored by Committee chairman Keith Vaz, who said: “When public trust in the police is tested by complaints of negligence, misconduct and corruption, a strong watchdog is vital to get to the truth – but the IPCC leaves the public frustrated and faithless.” The full text of the HASC report can be read here.

Some of the other spectacular IPCC failures include the nationally-known cases of Ian Puddick, Michael Doherty and Danny Major. These also feature IPCC cover-ups of breath-taking scope and creativity, again, to conceal the truth of police misconduct and criminality.

Our tireless campaigning for abolition or, at the very least, wholesale reform of the Balance of Probability Bandits known as the IPCC add force to what we set out as our uPSD’s two primary objectives: