We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Only 80 per cent of misconduct cases 'are resolved within a year'

The reforms to conduct investigations have been challenged in the House of Commons.

Ministers have been urged to step up action to reduce the amount of time taken to resolve conduct complaints.

Labour MP Jessica Morden used Home Office questions to raise concerns on behalf of the Police Federation over the time taken by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to close investigations into allegations of impropriety.

A new system that makes greater use of Police and Crime Commissioners to resolve complaints earlier is still being assessed. Also under the new system, the IOPC must explain why cases are taking more than a year to be settled.

But more serious allegations, particularly those started by the IOPC, remain a source of contention for rank and file officers.

The Federation argues they take up scarce officer time and often lead to no further action.

The issue has already been raised in a hearing by the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Jessica Morden told the Commons: “Even under the new Home Office system, only 80% of police conduct investigations are resolved within a year, leaving the remaining cases to linger on with a detrimental effect for those involved.

“Does the [policing] minister agree with the Police Federation that we need action now not just allowing the system to bed in as no-one benefits from long, drawn-out investigations?”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse told MPs that despite more serious conduct cases being more complex it was the government’s aspiration to shorten investigation times as much as possible.

“It’s worth bearing in mind that delays in investigations often happen because of complex reasons, particularly for difficult cases which are not in the control of the investigating body,” he said.

“And while I understand and sympathise with the Fed’s desire to shorten investigations, it’s worth bearing in mind our overriding priority in quality and thoroughness - not hitting some arbitrary deadline.”

The IOPC inherited more than 500 cases but the minister confirmed it now has only 30 that have taken longer than 12 months.  

He said: “I do meet regularly with the Director General of the IOPC [Michael Lockwood] and we do regularly monitor very closely how long investigations are taking.”

The Federation said the government needed to go further with reforms to the system.

Tiffany Lynch, who is the Federation’s lead for Parliamentary lobbying and Conduct and Performance, said: “Prolonged investigations are costly not just on the public purse but on the health and well-being of all concerned. The new regs go some way to address delays but not far enough with no accountability for delay.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct hit back, making clear significant progress had been made.

According to 2020/21 performance figures “core investigations completed within 12 months are 91% - this excludes major investigations”.

Leave a Comment
View Comments 2
In Other News
Fed fires 'warning shot' with work to rule threat over pay
IOPC to issue stop and search advice
IOPC 'pursued individual blame' says PSA as Hillsborough trial collapses
IOPC refers Met officers to CPS over road death
Killing of runaway cow with police vehicle referred to IOPC
'Organisational learning' after IOPC investigation into death of Kent teen
Federation still delaying investigations, says IOPC
More News