By Laura Moulden
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is unable to cope with its role as watchdog of police forces in England and Wales, MPs have claimed.
A home affairs committee report into the organisation found that nearly 32,000 officers had been subjected to a complaint last year – ranging from minor issues to alleged corruption and deaths in custody.
However, the document suggested that the public harboured a mistrust of the IPCC, which had only managed to “scratch the surface of these alleged abuses”.
“We conclude that the Independent Police Complaints Commission is not yet capable of delivering the kind of powerful, objective scrutiny that is needed to inspire that confidence,” said the committee.
It went on to claim that the work of the IPCC often seems to “exacerbate” the public’s lack of trust, rather than enhance it.
Responding to the report, Dame Anne Owers, chair of the IPCC, called for greater resources to be allocated to meet the growing demand for the organisation’s services.
“This report recognises that we do not yet have the resources or powers to do all that the public rightly expects and needs from us. That is what we have been saying for a long time,” she said.
According to the committee, the IPCC has a smaller budget than the Professional Standards Department of the Metropolitan Police force and spending cuts have forced the body to cut around 63 employees over the past two years.
Image used courtesy of Clive Chilvers / Shutterstock.com.