An end to 'police investigating police': Police complaints investigators not trusted and corrupt officers should have pensions docked, say MPs

 

Corrupt and incompetent police officers have avoided detection because of a broken system of checks that have shaken public confidence in the integrity of the service, MPs said today.

A new regime of “professionalism and integrity” must be introduced following high-profile scandals like the Hillsborough cover-up, the revelation of corrupt links between police and media, and the first sacking of a chief constable for 30 years, according to a new report by the influential home affairs select committee.

The study highlighted eight current exceptional inquiries into police failings that have cost the taxpayer more than £23m and involved nearly 300 officers – but have so far led to only five prosecutions. The MPs heard evidence of excessive sick leave and perks including generous hospitality.

The committee called for an end to “police investigating police” in serious cases to try to rebuild public confidence in a police service that had ten of its highest-ranking officers under investigation at the start of this year.

Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: “Broken systems of accountability and a patchwork of police standards and training, have allowed a minority of police officers to get away with corruption and incompetence which is blighting an otherwise excellent service with dedicated officers.

“The days of Dixon of Dock Green are over. The new landscape of policing requires a new type of police officer ready to meet the new challenges.”

Four years on from the death of homeless man Ian Tomlinson, the report expressed concern that there was still no national register to ensure that disgraced officers who quit to avoid a disciplinary hearing could not play the system to rejoin another force.

Mr Tomlinson died on the street after being beaten and shoved by a Metropolitan police officer who had previously been able to retire from the force on medical grounds despite facing a disciplinary hearing. He rejoined the Met after a stint with another force where he also faced complaints.

Harwood was finally drummed out of the Met 11 years after he first left at a rare public disciplinary hearing after being found not guilty for the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson.

Home Secretary Theresa May has since said that officers will face disciplinary penalties even after they have left the force. But the MPs called for the register of dismissed officers to be brought in immediately and criticised the system that led to the re-recruitment of Harwood.

“This speaks of a high-risk lack of coordination between forces,” said the report ‘Leadership and standards in the police’ out today. “Nor should officers be able to see retirement as a ‘get out of jail free card’ for misconduct.”

The MPs said that the sanctions for officers guilty of serious misconduct should be extended so that they are “fined” from their generous pension packages in the future. Officers currently have to be convicted of a criminal offence before they face the prospect of losing their pensions.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have already announced a package of integrity measures to tackle misconduct and promote transparency and a more open culture in the police.”

The report comes at a time of rock-bottom morale in the police service, with entry wages for a constable set to fall to £19,000 from £23,000.

The committee said that it meant some chief constables would be earning more than ten times the wage of the lowest paid for the first time, the committee said, though pointed out that none of those senior officers would be black. Twenty years after the Lawrence inquiry, the committee said it was “shameful” that none of the top jobs was currently held by an ethnic minority officer.

The cross-party committee of MPs also expressed dismay at the long-running ‘Plebgate’ inquiry into the Downing Street confrontation between officers and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell and its aftermath that has cost more than £144,000 so far.

Police forces should not be allowed to play any part in investigations such as the Plebgate inquiry but should pay for them to be investigated the police watchdog, it said.

The new College of Policing, which has been in operation for a year, is drawing up a new code of ethics for officers in England and Wales. Chief Constable Alex Marshall, the chief executive, said: “The report published today by the Home Affairs Committee contains many key areas of work that the College of Policing is driving forward. We have established an integrity programme for the police service which is aimed at strengthening professionalism.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin