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2019/20 annual report shows improved performance

Category: Latest News, Independent Office for Police Conduct, law, Police, Law Enforcement, lawyers, lawyer, annual, police force, annual report

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On 22nd July The Independent Office for Police Conduct issued its 2019/2020 annual report, which showed ongoing improvement in delivery of changes to the police complaints system, with a third of investigations now completed in under six months, and 83% within 12 months.

The report marks the end of the IOPC’s second year in operation to improve confidence in the police complaints system and policing more widely. 

During the year, the final phase of legislative reforms to the police complaints system were launched which will have an influence on ongoing improvement and should ensure the police complaints system is more effective and better fit for purpose.

The IOPC worked with the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and many others to ensure the smooth implementation of the reforms set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

Key achievements for the IOPC during the year included:

  • reviewed over 4,000 cases referred to us by police forces and determined how these should be investigated, meeting our target of 80% within three days
  • completed 718 investigations, 210 more than we started
  • completed 35% of investigations within six months (up 5% from the previous year) and completed 83% of independent investigations within 12 months (this excludes our most complex major investigations such as Hillsborough and Rotherham)
  • upheld 34% of investigation appeals in 2019/20 compared to 37% the year before which may indicate that complaints handling by forces is improving
  • made 105 learning recommendations to police forces and other bodies resulting in local and national changes to policing practice in a range of areas, from police pursuits to domestic violence, use of force and search warrants
  • achieved customer service accreditation, independently assessed and verified.

Only 18 of the 538 investigations carried over from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) remained open at the end of the financial year.

During the year there was also an 18% increase in young people who are confident that complaints are dealt with fairly by the police and a 16% increase in the number of people from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background who said they are aware of the IOPC. This work reflects a strong focus on improving community relationships and visibility by listening to communities and telling them more about our work.

Director General Michael Lockwood said: “This report reflects our second year in operation and the significant progress we have made in a very short period of time. However, we recognise we still need to make further improvements. We have started work on additional reforms to the way we investigate and are confident that this work will further strengthen confidence in police accountability and the police complaints system.

“I am particularly keen to strengthen our focus on using learning to improve policing practice in the 12 months ahead. During the year we made 105 formal learning recommendations to local police forces and national policing bodies and other organisations. These recommendations help drive systemic change and move the impact of our work beyond looking at the misconduct of an  individual. Seventy-seven per cent of these recommendations related to policy or guidance which meant policing is now improved, and in some cases, communities safer.”

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