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IOPC interim DG: new focus of getting cases done within six months

The interim Director General of the IOPC has said that 90% of cases are now completed within 12 months.

The IOPC has introduced a new focus of completing cases within six months, the interim Director General has told the Home Affairs Committee. 

Currently 90% of cases are completed within 12 months, and 40% within six months. 

Meanwhile, 82% of decisions the regulatory body reaches on case to answer are upheld at panels. 

When asked specifically why cases take so long, Tom Whiting pointed to the different powers between police and members of the public, and the time taken to get expert reports (for which there are currently system backlogs). 

“I think we’ve got more to do on timeliness still,” he said. 

“Both to bring the average timeliness down but also we still have cases that run on beyond 12 months and I would say that 90% is 90% but I think we need to be focussed on the ones that take more than 12 months now.” 

An MOU with the CPS is in drafting stages and joint working is ongoing regarding complaints forwarded over from the IOPC. 

On whistleblowing, he told the committee he would prefer for officers raising complaints to have the rights of a complainant – giving them the right to regular updates and the right of review through to the IOPC.

“At the moment they say they don’t have the confidence to complain, they don’t see what happens and what is the point was of complaining because they don’t see an outcome from it. 

“That change would help change it.

“The fix needs to be that people have the trust and confidence in the culture they have confidence in the leadership of their own organisations such that they can raise it internally. 

“Coming through to the exception mechanism should be kept as the exception.” 

Meanwhile, when quizzed by the Home Affairs Committee of the power that comes with the dual role of Chairman and Director General, Mr Whiting said splitting the two roles is a “model that could work” but equally that the current model has also worked. 

“I would like to protect the things that I think the current model improved in any review that takes place," he told the committee. 

He added that they had reviewed the cases that former DG Michael Lockwood had given to himself for a decision (which had been done very rarely) and there are none that the IOPC are concerned over. 

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