IOPC is improving but improvements must be sustained over the coming years

THE Independent Office for Police Conduct has increased the speed of their investigations, but this needs to be sustained over coming years, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

Representatives have complained for years that the IOPC’s investigations take too long, having an impact on officers’ professional and personal life, and their welfare.

The Police Federation of England and Wales has been fighting to cut this down, under the Time Limits campaign. The IOPC this month said it has made “significant improvements” in the timeliness of investigations, with more than 90 per cent now completed within 12 months.

Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, said: “We need to see that this is sustained over the next few years and we don’t creep back to the ridiculously long investigations that we’ve had in the past.

“In Hampshire, we’ve had investigations that have gone on for two and a half years. This really hangs over people and has a welfare and psychological impact on them. I can only speak for PSD in my force, they do appoint a welfare officer so they are aware. They definitely could do more, but they are aware of the impact.”

Zoë said officers are well-used to working to a timescale, so could not see why the IOPC could not do the same. She added: “Some sort of parity between the two would seem to make sense. Sometimes, as well as some of the things they’re investigating, the victims and witnesses are police officers so there needs to be more account taken as well of keeping them updated on the investigations as we would for any crime. Sometimes they get a bit forgotten about.”

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