The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as we know it, was replaced by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) yesterday.
On Friday (05/01/2018) The ‘IPCC’ tweeted: “On Monday we become the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). This is not just a change of name – it follows a period preparation where have reviewed our ways of working, recruited more investigators and increased the number of investigations we do.”
Since the IOPC formed in 2013, the organisation has doubled in size and has taken on six times as many investigations. This called for a review of structure where all changes were agreed through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 when Theresa May was home secretary.
So, what do these changes mean?
There is more to the new structure than just a change of name. It is planned to speed up decision making and ensure that the process is kept simple. The organisation will keep the publics concerns at the forefront.
The reform allows the IOPC to initiate its own investigations without the need for a force to record and refer a case. This gives them the power to open an investigation where it is deemed necessary by themselves. The most serious cases must still be referred to them by police forces where required. The aim of the investigations conducted by IOPC will not change. They will continue to investigate serious and sensitive matters within the police. including but not limited to death, injuries and corruption.
Michael Lockwood, the Director general of the IOPC said: “Public confidence in policing is best served by robust and independent oversight. People need to know that when things go wrong, or serious allegations are made about police officers, they will be thoroughly investigated by a truly independent body. That’s the role of the IOPC; it’s crucial work, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Michael Lockwood will have the support of a board of majority non-executive directors that were appointed by the home secretary. They will provide independent support, challenge Michael Lockwood where needed, and support the running of the organisation.
You can visit the IOPC new website here. https://policeconduct.gov.uk/