Socialist Worker

Injustice in police complaints system

Issue No. 2090

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was thrown into crisis this week after over 100 lawyers in the Police Action Lawyers Group resigned from its advisory body.

Describing the IPCC as showing favouritism towards police officers and a lack of care towards complainants, the group said it could not remain “complicit in a process that is clearly not working”.

The bias of the IPCC towards the police may not be news to many people – high profile examples include investigations into the botched Forest Gate raid in 2006 and the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes.

In fact the only case where police officers have been convicted for a police-related death was in 1971 when officers were jailed after David Oluwale was found drowned in Leeds two years earlier.

The IPCC was set up in 2004 to replace the Independent Police Complaints Council – which itself replaced the Police Complaints Authority in 2003. Each was quickly discredited as it became clear that they let the police off the hook.

Instead of showing that the police can be brought to justice, the IPCC has shown the opposite – that injustice is built into the way our criminal justice system operates.

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What We Think
Tue 26 Feb 2008, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2090
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