Examination of Witnesses (Questions 260
THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2002
260. Referring to paragraph 11 in the Police
Federation memorandum, which relates to seeking more protection
"for officers who have been subject to complaints which are
shown to be malicious or which have been fabricated for the purpose
of affecting the outcome of a criminal investigation". What
would you like to see? This is the other side of the complaints
(Mrs Berry) I think it was referred to earlier on.
I know that when the Police Federation gave evidence before we
asked that in cases where a malicious and frivolous complaint
has been made against a police officer then that should be an
offence in its own right. I know that did not find favour with
the Home Affairs Select Committee previously but we think that
there is an opportunity here. It is about balance, it is about
fairness. Where officers do have malicious complaints made against
them the stress levels are horrendous. We feel that it is only
natural justice that an offence should be put there to deter people
from making malicious complaints. In no way should it deter people
who have legitimate complaints to be made from making those, but
people who are using the system for their own ends and as part
of their defence tactics, and if it is made in a malicious and
frivolous way, we believe there should be an offence to counter
261. If they did it knowing it to be false?
(Mrs Berry) Absolutely, yes.
262. Finally, is there anything that you would
like to say to us that you have not had an opportunity to say
during the course of the afternoon?
(Mr Elliott) It has been a long afternoon. I cannot
think of anything off the top of my head, Chairman.
(Mrs Berry) I would just like to close by saying that
I think the Police Federation from time to time has been said
to be against reform but nothing could be further from the truth.
It has got be the right type of reform. A quick win sometimes
can be very advantageous but sometimes quick wins can result in
taking a lot longer to resolve than they took to put in in the
first place. The Police Federation are very much in support of
an improving Police Service, a more professional Police Service,
one that has got joined-up IT and works in partnership with the
Chairman: Thank you very much for that. I am
sure that we would all subscribe to that. Thank you very much
for your attendance this afternoon.