The cops’ pet watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), has been replaced by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The IPCC’s flaw was simple. It was not independent of the police. That flaw remains.
Its job was to protect the cops, not to bring justice. That hasn’t changed either.The IPCC was formed after the Macpherson inquiry into the failed police investigation into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993. The IPCC was a suitably New Labour body with a commission of people and warm rhetoric.
It failed to uncover the truth or bring justice in thousands of cases. And it kept files from the national police computer of family members of people who died in custody.
In the case of Mark Duggan it was the IPCC that was responsible for putting out the falsehood that Mark had shot at police first. It repeatedly let cops draft statements collectively. It often let former cops investigate their previous forces.
The new body will continue this sterling work. What’s new is that it can initiate the cover ups on its own behalf.
It is not in the state’s interest for the police to be punished.That is why cops don’t go to jail for the people they kill, regardless of what the watchdog is called.
It doesn’t need a new name. It needs putting down for good.