3 Measuring the outcome of the IPCC's
19. The IPCC is responsible for ensuring that
its recommendations have been received and accepted (or rejected)
by the relevant police force. The IPCC's four regional offices
have adopted widely varying approaches to tracking the acceptance
of recommendations. In the Northern and Central regions the acceptance
or rejection of recommendations is centrally recorded. In contrast,
there is no auditable evidence of any central recording or monitoring
of police responses to recommendations in either the London &
South-East or Wales & South-West regions.
The IPCC accepted that it needed to maintain a better record of
how a police force responds to its recommendations.
20. The IPCC also does not systematically monitor
whether recommendations, once accepted, have been implemented
by the police. The
IPCC has informal arrangements which rely upon the IPCC's Commissioners
liaising with senior police staff before recommendations are made
to establish whether they will solve the problem identified. The
Commissioner will then check that the force intends to implement
the change and will often liaise with the force once the recommendation
has been made to check that it has been implemented.
The IPCC does not have the statutory power to enforce implementation
since its remit is not to determine how priorities should be made
21. There is currently no agreement on who has
responsibility for monitoring that the IPCC's recommendations,
once accepted, are implemented. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary
may consider specific IPCC recommendations as part of its inspections
of individual police forces and systems but it does not have a
specific remit to follow-up all IPCC recommendations.
22. Since 2007 the IPCC has published five 'Learning
the Lessons Bulletins' in which wider lessons identified from
its work are disseminated.
These Bulletins provide summaries of where police processes have
failed and also highlight best practice. The IPCC can point to
some examples where problems identified and solutions proposed
have resulted in changes to police procedures. Figure 4
provides two such examples of the impact of IPCC recommendations,
but such impacts are not centrally recorded.
Failure to monitor the implementation of recommendations systematically
is a significant shortfall in the system for ensuring that poor
police practices are put right. It also weakens the IPCC's ability
to assess its overall effectiveness, and fails to provide the
necessary assurance to the public that the IPCC is having the
impact expected of it.Figure
4: Examples of the impacts stemming from IPCC recommendations
|Example 1: A man killed himself in a cell having tied a noose around a plughole strainer. Following an investigation the IPCC recommended that police forces should change the design of their plugholes, and they have done so preventing further such incidents.
Example 2: Witness protection arrangements broke down in one police force and two people were killed as a direct consequence. Following IPCC recommendations the police force concerned now has one of the best witness protection systems in the country.
33 C&AG's Report, para 3.9 Back
Qq 12-13 Back
Qq 12-13, 38, 60 Back
Q 39 Back
Q 41 Back
C&AG's Report, para 3.8 Back
C&AG's Report, para 3.10 Back
Qq 39, 60 Back
Q 39 Back