Letter: Trust in the police

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your correspondent Michael Cassidy accused the Police Complaints Authority of having "too cosy a relationship" with the police service and the Crown Prosecution Service (letter, 3 May). I have served with the PCA for more than 10 years and I can assure Mr Cassidy that the relationship is professional and productive but not cosy.

We frequently disagree with the police service and we are not afraid to criticise when necessary. However, continuous and open confrontation might appeal to the gallery but it would be contrary to the public interest, which demands a working complaints system.

Mr Cassidy was responding to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's article on why she does not trust the police (Review, 29 April). I appreciate that many minority groups are distrustful of the police service. This Authority has sought to reach out to minorities; everybody should be able to seek redress for their grievances.

The Authority also appreciates the depth of concern surrounding deaths in police custody. That is why the PCA held its first national conference last year on deaths in police custody and published a post-conference report on how to reduce the risk of such deaths. We have also achieved pre-inquest disclosure to families of people who have died in police custody. We have fought, against the police service, for this change for nearly four years.

PETER MOORHOUSE

Chairman

Police Complaints Authority

London SW1

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