Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Update: Cleveland Police – Operation Forbes

Our investigation into allegations of discrimination and the use of RIPA by Cleveland Police has reached a significant milestone.

Operation Forbes, launched in February 2018, spans three areas of investigation. We are now in a position to provide an update on the operation’s progress:

PC Nadeem Saddique

This is an independent investigation following an employment tribunal, in November 2015, which concluded that PC Nadeem Saddique (now retired) was subject to racial discrimination. All enquiries are now complete, and our final report will soon be sent to the force for their consideration.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)

Important developments have been made in the investigation, managed by us and being carried out by West Midlands Police, regarding the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by Cleveland Police. The use of RIPA was the subject of a 2017 Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling, which found that Cleveland Police had in some cases used these powers unlawfully.

We can confirm that earlier this week (13 and 15 May 2019), following detailed assessments, notices of gross misconduct were served to seven Cleveland Police officers (five are now retired) and one member of staff.

This is not currently a criminal investigation. The serving of a notice is not a finding of guilt but to inform an officer, or member of staff, that they are under investigation and the level of severity.

Equality Review 2011

This is an independent investigation looking at complaints linked to how Cleveland Police carried out an Equality Review in 2011. These complaints, which include allegations of discrimination, were initially investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service. The investigation is ongoing but we can confirm no notices have been served and this is not a criminal investigation.

The findings from Operation Forbes will be considered for publication when all areas of investigation are complete.

IOPC Regional Director, Miranda Biddle recently said:

“This remains a complex, multi-strand, operation. It continues to involve a considerable amount of evidence, which is why these investigations are taking time to complete; we must be thorough in our analysis and explore every available avenue.

“I’m well aware of the impact this operation is having on all those involved, but I’m pleased that we are moving forward and have now reached some significant milestones. Our work with the forces involved in this operation is productive, and their continued cooperation in these matters is acknowledged.

“With regard to the investigation relating to the use of the RIPA, the serving of the notices follows detailed conduct assessments. The decision to serve notices of such severity is not taken lightly, and must meet a specific threshold. We have very carefully considered the evidence available to us, at this time, and made the decision to investigate the actions of the identified police officers and member of staff.

“I would like to thank all those involved in Operation Forbes for their work so far.”


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