The chair of the South Wales branch says plans for the Federation to have a role in the training of IOPC investigators will speed up the process and make it fairer for members under investigation.
Steve Treharne was speaking after the announcement of ‘Meet the Fed’ sessions for Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) recruits.
The recruits will learn about the Police Federation’s conduct and performance liaison officers (CAPLOs) who support members from day one of a complaint and what they will require from them at each stage of an investigation. They will also receive Post-Incident Procedures Level 1 and 2 training accredited by the College of Policing.
It is hoped the sessions will lead to smoother relations between officers, their Federation reps and IOPC investigators.
Steve said: “For the Federation to have a role in the training of IOPC recruits is an important step forward and a victory for our long-running Time Limits campaign.
“Lengthy misconduct investigations are not in anyone’s interests and can ruin officers’ careers and impact their health, as well as that of family and colleagues. They’re also a cost to the tax payer and actually serve to undermine public confidence in the system.
“Improving the training for IOPC investigators will also make investigations fairer, helping them to decide whether cases should actually proceed and how they proceed.
“But there’s still a lot of work to do, and we’ll continue to push the Time Limits campaign to ensure IOPC investigations are completed within 12 months.”
Phill Matthews, national Federation conduct and performance chair, will take part in the sessions.
He said: “This is an important and positive first step towards improving the relationship between IOPC investigators and Fed reps which should in turn make the disciplinary system fairer for everyone.
“By breaking down barriers, we can open discussions with its investigators on how our reps operate to not just support officers but also assist their investigations from day one. We want to help them make the process as smooth as possible.”
Phill added: “IOPC investigators now having access to PIP training is very welcome news and is something the Federation has been pressing hard for. All detectives are trained to this standard, so it only seems right that IOPC investigators are also trained to this level or higher.
“Ultimately, all we want is fair investigators with the best possible training, gathering the evidence our members need to either clear themselves, or remove the minority of corrupt individuals from the service, in a timely manner.”