Police: A force for independent discipline

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The Independent Online
Many police officers would be happy to have complaints against them investigated by an independent body, according to a new survey, which found that exactly one-third of officers actually want an independent organisation to replace the current system.

At the moment, a network of Police Complaints Authorities investigates complaints by members of the public against officers.

A further 20 per cent of officers would not mind whether a new independent body was set up to replace the PCAs or whether the police themselves continued to investigate complaints. However, nearly 45 per cent, the largest single group of officers, would prefer such disciplinary procedures to be kept in-house. Nevertheless, the findings of the survey carried out for the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, are likely to strengthen the staff association's call for complaints against its members to be dealt with by an independent body.

The poll, based on the opinions of 9,000 serving officers, also found that nearly 85 per cent thought the public would have greater confidence in an independent complaints body, compared with just 7 per cent for the PCAs.