“Long-drawn-out disciplinary investigations are having a devastating effect on so many colleagues; ruining their careers, leaving a mark on their mental health and on their loved ones.”
These were the words of Gwent Police Federation secretary Nicky Ryan in support of the fact that the Federation has submitted compelling evidence to Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee in a bid to reduce investigation timescales.
The evidence was collected as part of the Police Federation of England and Wales’ Time Limits campaign which was launched last year to highlight the detrimental impact of lengthy conduct inquiries on officers and their families. It calls for all investigations to be concluded within 12 months of an allegation being made.
Graphic case studies are included, with a powerful testimony from Met PC Adrian Daly who was falsely accused of assault. It took nearly three years for him to clear his name and the Federation even took evidence from his wife to further illustrate how their lives were shattered by the process.
Nicky explained: “We appreciate this opportunity to present our evidence and will be pushing for a system where breaching the time limits has consequences on the ability to proceed.
“This is largely because, despite the fact that the IOPC and the forces are now required to provide and explanation to Police and Crime Commissioners when investigations take longer than a year, the issue is still continuing. Enough is enough.”
Phill Matthews, national Federation conduct and performance lead, said: “It is encouraging that the IOPC has admitted there is room for improvement and that they are keen to work with us rather than against us; that hasn’t always been the case.”
The PFEW evidence forms part of a Parliamentary investigation into the IOPC’s handling of complaints and public trust and confidence in the complaints system.