Wednesday, June 06, 2012

New Head of IPCC: Cops Are Bent

Now that's what I call a clean-up rate. 8,500 allegations, 13 convictions.

Thousands of police accused of corruption – just 13 convicted

Forces should not probe their own officers, says IPCC chief as shocking figures come to light
Paul Peachey
25 May 2012

The new head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has questioned the ability of forces to investigate their own officers for corruption after it emerged that more than 8,500 allegations of wrongdoing resulted in just 13 criminal convictions.

Officers – including some from the most senior ranks – were accused of crimes including rape, the misuse of corporate credit cards and perverting the course of justice, but most cases were not substantiated and only a tiny fraction ever came to court.

Dame Anne Owers said that there was scepticism about the extent to which police officers could investigate colleagues' alleged crimes, and she demanded more resources to supervise inquiries to ensure confidence in the system. "The public is understandably doubtful about the extent to which, in this particular instance, the police can investigate themselves," she said in a report by the IPCC.

She concluded that the corruption identified over the three years to 2011 was not endemic or widespread. But she accepted that it was "corrosive of the public trust that is at the heart of policing" with the number of cases increasing.

"A serious focus on tackling police corruption is important, not just because it unearths unethical police behaviour, but because of the role it plays in wider public trust," said Dame Anne, a former inspector of prisons.

The report was published just after it was announced that the IPCC – which looks into allegations of police misconduct and deaths in custody – will itself be put under the spotlight by a powerful parliamentary committee amid concerns over its record. Its investigation teams include former police officers and the Home Affairs Select Committee will assess whether it is able to carry out impartial inquiries. More Independent

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