Category Archives: Home Affairs Committee
INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION TO BE INVESTIGATED FOR BIAS – BUT WHEN WILL THE PRISONS OMBUDSMAN BE SIMILARLY INVESTIGATED?
The Home Affairs Committee is today launching an inquiry into the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The Committee’s inquiry will include, but will not be limited to, analysis of:
The independence of the Commission;
The powers and responsibilities of the Commission; and
The effectiveness of Commission investigations.
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
“The IPCC is plays a vital role in ensuring fair play in policing and improving public confidence in the police forces”
“But the Commission cannot improve confidence in policing if the public have low confidence in the IPCC itself”
“In this inquiry, we will ask how the IPCC can be improved to ensure that it can uphold the highest standards in British policing and whether it needs new powers to get to the bottom of the most serious cases”
“With 20% cuts ahead, these are times of upheaval for the police, so we will also be looking at how the IPCC must develop and broaden its horizons to ensure that all aspects of policing work will come under its scrutiny.”
Terms of Reference
The inquiry will consider:
Whether the Commission has improved the scrutiny of police practices
Whether the Commission has the right powers and resources to carry out its role effectively
Whether investigations lead to improvements in police practices
Whether improving police services should be formally included in the Commission’s remit
The Commission’s role in scrutinising elected police commissioners
The Commission’s role in scrutinising third parties commissioned to carry out policing duties
The Commission’s role in considering complaints which may relate in part to other bodies involved in the justice system, such as the Crown Prosecution Service
Whether the right balance is achieved between independent, managed and supervised investigations
How the work of the Commission could be effectively scrutinised
Written evidence is invited from interested parties.
Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.
Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said: “I welcome this investigation, the IPCC provides a vital service but it is overloaded with former police officers and this review is long overdue.
“It is sad that despite being requested to carry out a similar review of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s Office the Justice Select Committee, which could investigate the PPO in exactly the same manner as the Home Affairs Committee is investigating the IPCC and for exactly the same reasons, have ignored all such calls to do so.
“This is despite the fact that the PPO is even more deeply flawed in its staffing profiles than the IPCC – at least at the IPCC the head is not a former Police Officer, yet the Head of the PPO is a former Prison Service Director which makes a complete mockery of purported independence; we need to keep up the pressure for a PPO Review.”
Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail to email@example.com. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm. Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.