New inquiry: The Independent Police Complaints Commission

27 June 2012

Call for written evidence

Independent Police Complaints Commission

The Home Affairs Committee is today launching an inquiry into the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The Committee’s inquiry will include, but will not be limited to, analysis of:

  • The independence of the Commission;
  • The powers and responsibilities of the Commission; and
  • The effectiveness of Commission investigations.

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“The IPCC is plays a vital role in ensuring fair play in policing and improving public confidence in the police forces”

“But the Commission cannot improve confidence in policing if the public have low confidence in the IPCC itself”

“In this inquiry, we will ask how the IPCC can be improved to ensure that it can uphold the highest standards in British policing and whether it needs new powers to get to the bottom of the most serious cases”

“With 20% cuts ahead, these are times of upheaval for the police, so we will also be looking at how the IPCC must develop and broaden its horizons to ensure that all aspects of policing work will come under its scrutiny.”

Terms of Reference

The inquiry will consider:

  • Whether the Commission has improved the scrutiny of police practices
  • Whether the Commission has the right powers and resources to carry out its role effectively
  • Whether investigations lead to improvements in police practices
  • Whether improving police services should be formally included in the Commission’s remit
  • The Commission’s role in scrutinising elected police commissioners
  • The Commission’s role in scrutinising third parties commissioned to carry out policing duties
  • The Commission’s role in considering complaints which may relate in part to other bodies involved in the justice system, such as the Crown Prosecution Service 
  • Whether the right balance is achieved between independent, managed and supervised investigations
  • How the work of the Commission could be effectively scrutinised

Written evidence is invited from interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Thursday 28 June 2012.

Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.

Further information:

Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail to The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. View further guidance on the submission of evidence.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

Image: iStockphoto

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