Police escape charges in 70 per cent of IPCC cases

Prosecutors decided against charging police officers in nearly 70 per cent of the most serious cases of alleged misconduct referred to them by the policing watchdog, according to figures secured under Freedom of Information legislation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) completed 154 independent investigations into alleged police misconduct in the year to April 2011 and submitted 16 of those to the Crown Prosecution Service for possible charges. Of those 16, just five resulted in prosecutions against police, according to statistics obtained by the investigative journalism group, Exaro.

The cases were referred where the IPCC considered that a criminal offence "may have been committed" and should be considered by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A CPS spokesman said: "Due to the complex nature, both legally and evidentially, of the cases investigated by the IPCC, there can be real difficulties in gathering sufficient evidence to prosecute."

The Tottenham MP, David Lammy, called for an overhaul of the IPCC to give it greater powers to investigate police.