This is not an idea it is an absolute must. The police must be subjected to more accountability and must have transparent penalties for misconduct. The police are almost impossible to remove whatever the offence. They are regularly subjected to "words of advice" for even serious misconduct or incompetence and this isn't even a discilinary sanction. The current system actually perpetuates and reinforces police misconduct and does not deal with it at all. The IPCC are almost always seen as biased by anyone who comes into contact with it. However the IPCC prefers to only ask people their opinion who have heard of it which is very, very different. Thus creating a massively misleading set of statistics which are shouted from the rooftops by the IPCC. This is basically the way that the IPCC operates in practice as regards police scrutiny. The default position of the police now is to vitually "non investigate" citizen allegations and take a chance at the IPCC on appeal. The IPCC almost invariably come down on the side of the police resulting in a very disgruntled complainant. There is absolutely no incentive for the police in any force to investigate complaints properly, ethically or even honestly because they almost always get a result from the IPCC. This is why the organisation is so overstretched at almost every level. Almost every investigation by the police ends up with some kind of appeal to the IPCC. Then the appeal is not dealt with properly because the IPCC are so overstretched because of their own previous failings. The whole system is retrograde and needs strengthening throughout in the public interest.

The law needs toughening up surrounding the IPCC and it has to be implemented quickly. The ideal position would be appropriate, reasonable, proper and ethical investigations by the police. This will never happen which is why the IPCC is in existence in the first place. However there is no incentive to the police to do any of this because the IPCC is so toothless and biased by default. This quango is essential in a democracy but it needs to be better, more impartial and stronger. One example of intrinsic bias that has to be addressed surrounds appeal documentation. The IPCC by default automatically sends the full appeal and full evidential documentation provided with the appeal to the force in question. However the appellant is not told this and the available IPCC publications actually mislead. Then the appellant is not even allowed to see the response from the police to the appeal and has no knowledge of what weight is given to it by the IPCC or even whether the police response is the truth. Effectively the police are given two bites at the cherry in a supposedly impartial and independent appeal by the IPCC. That is just one example of a procedural and systemic bias against the complainant at the IPCC. This contributes to a massive proportion of good appeals being rejected. This inbuilt type of bias has to be stopped by statute. An organisation cannot be impartial when the respondent gets two bites at the cherry and the appellant one.

Why is this idea important?

There are not many things more important in a democracy than police accountability. The police are given massive powers over and above that of their fellow citizens. Abuse of that power should be brought to account quickly, effectively, transparently and impartially. This does not happen in the present system. Perhaps some type of survey of appellants and actual users of the IPCC would give a more balanced perspective of the effectiveness of this public body with yet another CEO on about 160 grand.

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