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IOPC to give victims right of appeal when officers not pursued in court


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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is set to introduce a scheme which will allow victims to appeal when it decides not to refer a case to the Crown Prosecution Service.


Date - 29th February 2020
By - Chloe Livadeas


The IOPC plans to introduce a ‘Victims’ Right to Review’ scheme to give people the chance to appeal when it decides not to pursue prosecutions of officers facing disciplinary action.

The IOPC said they were currently consulting police and community stakeholders on the plan which is due to be introduced from May this year.

Further changes to the complaints process could also give the IOPC’s director general, Michael Lockwood, the power to order staff to re-investigate and make it easier for them to reopen a case.   

In a report published today (28 February 2020), the IOPC said: "We are developing a Victims' Right to Review scheme, to give victims the right to request a review of our decision not to refer an investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service.

"We are keen to ensure there is no disparity between the rights of a victim who alleges that a crime was committed by a member of the public, and one who alleges that a crime was committed by a person serving with the police.

"We envisage it will apply to criminal investigations that have been carried out or directed by the IOPC, and it will enable the individual to request that the original decision is reviewed."

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We envisage the right will apply to criminal investigations that have been carried out or directed by the IOPC, and it will enable anyone defined as a “victim” under the Victims Code to request that the original decision is reviewed.

“The victim will have 20 working days to request a review of a decision not to make a referral on an indictable offence, five working days for summary only offence where decisions to charge have to be taken more quickly.”

The IOPC also urged the government in today’s report to bring in other reforms “without further delay” which would give it the powers to present its own cases at disciplinary proceedings rather than have a force’s professional standards department do so on its behalf.

The family of Leon Briggs said this week they were “devastated and outraged” at the collapse of misconduct proceedings of six Bedfordshire Police officers.

The CPS decided not to bring charges over the death of Mr Briggs, who was 39-years-old, in 2013 after he was restrained under the Mental Health Act.

Mr Briggs mother said she had lost faith in the IOPC and the systems that held officer to account.

The report said: "We called for this change as the current arrangements, where a police force presents a case even when we have had to direct them to bring proceedings, can undermine confidence in the process and outcome.

"We welcome the opportunity to play a greater role in hearings that follow our investigations, and to better demonstrate how our work ensures accountability for those who commit misconduct.

"We expect this change will increase confidence in the police discipline system, particularly among those complainants who lack confidence in the force they have complained about.

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Typical of the IOPC. Please take the word Independent out of the title. These people are not victims, they are Complainants. Someone who has made a complaint against Police is not a victim. For decades now it has been a criminal defence procedure to lodge a Complain against Police to try and lessen their conduct.

How many bites of the cherry do the IOPC want. 

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That leads to two possible outcomes - IOPC prefers you prosecute rather than be appealed against.  Or the appeal coincidentally concurs with the IOPC 


to be honest as little as I know about the IOPC, I always imagined there was an appeal system anyway.    Disgraceful that they felt so godly as to never be wrong till now!


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So investigations against officers will take even longer. Great thinking.

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I remember about 6 or 7 years ago when the Federation were exploring the possibility of suing complaints who were making a false complaint for defamation. A very large number of Complaints against Police are false. As serving officers you all know that and, it has possibly happened to you many times. The hardest Complaint to defend is the false complaint because you have no idea what has or is being alleged.

The IOPC might just find that they are opening a can or worms and they cannot make legislation or regulations concerning the procedure, no matter how they would like to.

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