THE Independent Office for Police Conduct should review the remit of its cases to cut down on the length of investigations, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
Campaigners have been calling for the IOPC to reduce the length of investigations after police officers’ lives were being put on hold for years.
Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, said: “We’ve been talking about this for a long time and the Time Limits campaign with the federation has been going on for quite a while. I’d hope to see some changes.
“I think the IOPC need to look at the remit of their investigations in order to cut down on that time. The investigations I’ve looked at, some of the enquiries that they’re doing, are really not relevant. So actually if they focused on the key enquiries rather than trying to look at everything, that would obviously cut down on time.
“In Hampshire, we don’t have that many that go to the IOPC. But the ones that do are the more serious ones. The ones I’ve seen, the list of investigations are ridiculous. If the officers can see that actually the investigation is progressing, that makes them feel a lot better. I think a lot of the time it’s when they just don’t hear anything, they don’t know what’s going on, or they find out they’re looking into something that’s really not relevant. Hopefully it’ll make a difference and hopefully that then has an impact on officers.”
There is currently no cap on how long an allegation or complaint against a police officer can be investigated. A significant number of misconduct cases take years to come to conclusion. The negative impact of this prolonged uncertainty on a police officer, their families and their colleagues cannot be underestimated, the Police Federation of England and Wales has said.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct admitted that more can be done at this month’s Police Federation of England and Wales conference. Director-General Michael Lockwood said: “We don’t want a police officer under a cloud longer than they need to.”