Reports on police to remain secret

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The Independent Online
Reports of inquiries into complaints against the police can be kept secret, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. The Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Bingham, said it was in the public interest that they should have immunity from disclosure, unless a court decided otherwise.

The judges overturned an earlier ruling which would have given the Manchester businessman Kevin Taylor access to three Police Complaints Authority reports. Mr Taylor, 62, is suing the police for malicious prosecution. He claims there was a plot to destroy him as a means of also destroying his friend John Stalker, a former deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester.

Sir Thomas, sitting with Lord Justice Rose and Lord Justice Morritt, said he was not entitled to see the reports of officers who had investigated the police accused of hounding him. Sir Thomas said there would be an "undesirable, inhibiting effect" on investigating officers expressing their views if they were not protected by immunity.

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