IPCC publishes first part of 'Corruption in the Police Service in England and Wales' Report

16 Sep 2011 02:18 PM

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published the first part of its report regarding corruption in the police service.

The report, which was requested by the Home Secretary earlier this summer, outlines the various aspects of behaviour by police officers and staff that can be considered as corrupt. It also has information about the number of referrals the IPCC receives and examples of some corruption cases the organisation has investigated.

The report also contains a review of learning and recommendations made in individual corruption investigations. This identified some common themes such as supervision and leadership; misuse of computer systems and policies and procedures - the latter being particularly related to the claiming of expenses and use of corporate credit cards.

IPCC Interim Chair Len Jackson, said:

"This report sets out, in high level terms, what the IPCC's experience of investigating corruption within the police service of England and Wales has been so far. During its lifetime the Commission has received corruption related referrals from police forces that have resulted in a number of investigations; some of these have been particularly high profile and involved officers of the highest rank.

"It is clear that allegations of corruption against any rank of officer, such as those we have seen in the last few months, severely damages the reputation and standing of all forces and officers.

"Our second report, which will follow before the end of this year, will provide further analysis of referrals and identification of issues and lessons to be learned for the police service as a whole. It will also comment on the public's views of police corruption and its impact on wider confidence in policing, as well as exploring what further powers and resources would be required if the IPCC were to take a greater role in the investigation of corruption issues in the future.”

Police forces and police authorities are required by law to refer complaints or conduct matters to the IPCC if the allegation includes serious corruption. This includes any attempt to pervert the course of justice, passing on confidential information in return for payment or other benefits, and the supply of seized controlled drugs, firearms or other material.

In 2009, the Commission took the decision that it would increase its oversight of corruption matters and would develop its capacity to provide greater oversight of such cases. As a result during the last two to three years the Commission has managed, rather than supervised, the investigation of more cases and conducted independent investigations in a small number of high profile cases.

Of the approximate 2,400 referrals received by the IPCC in 2010/11 that cover all types of allegations, more than 200 were classified as serious corruption. A similar number of corruption referrals were also received in both 2009/10 and 2008/9.

The report was ordered by the Home Secretary, under powers set out in the Police Reform Act 2002, in a statement to the House of Commons in July 2011. The statement followed allegations concerning corrupt relationships between the police and the media generated by the News of the world phone hacking story.

Issued By Neil Coyte IPCC Press Office 020 7166 3978.