Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Independent Office for Police Conduct publishes Impact Report 2020/21

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has today, Friday 17 September 2021, published its Impact Report 2020/21, outlining the work it has done over the last year to help improve policing.

In the past three years the IOPC has made over 400 learning recommendations aimed at improving policing in areas such as tactical pursuits, stalking and harassment and search warrants. We have completed almost 1,900 investigations, carried out over 3,000 reviews of local investigations into death or serious injury matters and completed over 6,000 valid appeals from people who were dissatisfied with the outcome or handling of their complaint by the police force.

We have maintained significant improvements in the timeliness of investigations, with 91% of core investigations completed within 12 months – up from 83% in the previous year.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges for police forces as well as changes to our lives and work. There were growing concerns from communities about stop and search, Taser use, discrimination and disproportionate use of force. 

In response to these, a thematic review of stop and search investigations involving the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) was conducted and a number of recommendations to improve these MPS interactions with the public were made.  In addition, a review of more than 100 independent IOPC Taser investigations was also started, with learning recommendations published during summer 2021.

Since the IOPC’s establishment in 2018, young people’s awareness of our organisation has increased as has stakeholder confidence in our work. The confidence of people from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background that police deal with their complaints fairly has also increased.

Michael Lockwood, Director General of the IOPC, said:

“This has been a challenging but highly successful year for the organisation, in which we have continued to use learning recommendations to improve the service the public experience from our police forces and also help officers better do their job.

“I am proud that over the past three years we have driven significant improvements to the complaints system. The police have powers that can impact on people’s liberty and lives and it is vital the public have confidence that those powers are used properly, appropriately, and responsibly.

“The latest results from our stakeholder surveys were positive and our improved efforts to engage with stakeholders were highly praised. We benefited greatly from spending important time with communities across the country and listening to their issues and concerns. This means we can focus on what is important to them. This year, we met with over 300 community groups and organisations, gained positive feedback and valuable insights from these conversations.

“We are confident that our organisation is well-prepared for the challenges ahead and look forward to the opportunities presented by the ever-changing landscape and our expanded role within it.”

Between April 2020 and March 2021, we:

  • Began 465 independent investigations and completed 460.
  • Completed 91% of our core investigations within 12 months (excluding major investigations - these are large scale or more complex cases such as our Hillsborough investigation). This compares with 83% in 2019/20, 82% in 2018/19 and 69% in 2017/18.
  • Dealt with over 1,600 appeals or requests for a review of how a police force handled a complained, of which we upheld 526.
  • Made 216 learning recommendations. Ten percent of our learning recommendations related to the police response to domestic violence and 16% concerned police custody.
  • We held around 300+ community meetings across the country.
  • Our Customer Contact Centre dealt with around 500 calls each week
  • Received over 4,670 referrals from forces – a 7% increase on 2019/20. Despite this, we decided on the mode of investigation within our three working day target in 82% of cases.
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