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Independent Police Complaints Commission

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Independent Police Complaints Commission in holding the actions of police forces to account; (323275)

(2) if he will take steps to require police forces to implement the recommendations of the Independent Police Complaints Commission or to state publicly the reasons why they do not intend to implement them.

[holding answer 22 March 2010]: On receipt of a report of an investigation conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) police chiefs are required to report back to the IPCC on the action the police force proposes to take in respect of the matters dealt with in the report. Such matters will include consideration of recommendations from the IPCC as to whether disciplinary proceedings should be brought against a person serving with the police.

Where the force does not accept the recommendation of the IPCC as to the bringing of disciplinary proceedings, the IPCC has the power to direct that disciplinary proceedings are brought.

The Public Accounts Committee's Fifteenth Report on the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), published in March 2009, recommended that the Home Office clarify responsibility for monitoring the implementation IPCC recommendations. Work is currently under way to put in place a suitable framework to achieve this.

The work of the IPCC is crucial to maintaining an effective and efficient police complaints system in England and Wales. The work of the IPCC is subject to detailed scrutiny in for example, criminal, coroners' and disciplinary proceedings. It has led directly to holding individual officers to account.

More widely, the IPCC also chairs a national Learning the Lessons committee with police stakeholders, ensuring that key lessons from investigations are identified and promulgated, leading to overall improvements in policing.