Successful PFEW legal action holds IOPC to account
Six police officers who endured unfairly long misconduct investigations have received substantial compensation and a formal letter of apology following a successful legal challenge by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) on their behalf.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) agreed to the pay-outs in February this year after PFEW lawyers took legal action on behalf of the Metropolitan Police officers. All six were subjected to lengthy investigations which took between four and seven years, following three incidents in London on separate dates in 2011.
The cases were concluded in February this year, after the IOPC, formerly known as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), settled the cases in favour of the PFEW-supported claimants.
National Vice Chair Ché Donald welcomed the settlements and warned PFEW would continue to hold the IOPC to account for any further ‘unfair and prolonged persecution’ of police officers.
He said: “For ever and a day, the IOPC has been completely unaccountable for the way in which they run protracted investigations, displayed bias in the process, and behaved in an underhanded manner which has negatively impacted on the lives of police officers.
“The settlement calls the IOPC to account and makes it crystal clear PFEW will not tolerate our members being treated this way. It also sets an important precedent for colleagues.
“This is a clear shot across the boughs of the IOPC that protracted investigation and the days of treating officers like second class citizens are over, along with the mindset associated with this.
“The settlements also show there is now a financial penalty to pay for any unfairness caused to members by lengthy misconduct investigations. The IOPC is now paying after PFEW rightly took legal action on our members’ behalf, and we will continue to hold them to account.
“The simple fact is none of these officers needed to be put through a process which lasted a number of years, and this massively impacted on their mental and physical wellbeing, while leaving them in limbo. Although financial compensation is good, it won’t change the fact they had to go through hell.
“Although the IOPC is moving in the right direction now, there still remains deep seated cultural biases in some pockets which is directed towards police officers. Until these are resolved, PFEW will continue to fight for fairness via our ‘Time Limits’ campaign, which calls for a cap on how long an allegation or complaint against a police officer can be investigated.”