Police watchdog 'appears biased'

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The Independent Online

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been criticised by the Home Affairs Select Committee for using retired officers to investigate former colleagues.

A report by the MPs concludes that the police watchdog is slow and does not deal with enough cases. But it reserves its most scathing criticism for the use of former police officers as investigators. The report calls the practice "clearly inappropriate" and adds: "Public confidence in the impartiality of the IPCC is bound to be damaged by these practices. We are shocked that this situation has been allowed to develop and recommend that steps are taken to prevent this occurring and to remove any hint of impropriety."

The report says it was "unsatisfactory" that investigations by the IPCC were taking up to 269 working days. The committee expressed dismay that, of the 30,000 complaints against police behaviour last year, only 250 were managed by the IPCC. The chairman of the IPCC, Nick Hardwick, said: "A fairer picture would acknowledge what has already been achieved whilst recognising much more still needs to be done."