I cam across this while looking at Taser related gubbins and it’s interesting to see in an article about the lack of oversight of the Canadian police how our IPCC is described-
On Tuesday, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP issued a report that looked at the broad issue of how the federal police force investigates itself. Commission chairman Paul Kennedy told a news conference, “We sought to answer the following question: Can the current process of the RCMP investigating itself legitimately engender confidence in the transparency and integrity of the criminal investigation and its outcome?
“Based on the results of our research and analysis, the informed commission answer is that it cannot.”
There is an alternative. In 2004, the Independent Police Complaints Commission began work in England and Wales. According to its website (www.ipcc.gov.uk), “The IPCC can choose to manage or supervise the police investigation into a case and independently investigate the most serious cases.”
The IPCC argues it is a chance for the police to increase public confidence and trust of the service.
The U.K. commission’s investigations take an average of 183 days, and in 2006/2007 it tackled 64 serious cases out of more than 2,000 complaints. That might not seem like many inquiries, but there were only five deaths from police shootings and 21 deaths in custody.
The process is not without flaws. There is no internal or external measure of quality control, and the commission’s recommendations can be rejected by police. Still, this national commission goes much further than the protections offered to the public in Canada.
‘The IPCC argues it is a chance for the police to increase public confidence and trust of the service.‘ Hmmm. Well one, it has failed and two, because we need an oversight body not a PR flak. Canada should aim a lot higher than their own version of the IPCC.