Home AffairsWritten evidence submitted by Satish Sekar [IPCC 31]

My name is Satish Sekar. I wish to bring to your attention serious flaws relating to the IPCC. I made a serious complaint against a police force which is unlawfully retaining my property (I am a journalist, whose work—papers, letters, photos and taped interviews gathered over 20 years of research) and using it for its own purposes against my wishes—consent for the original purpose, which ended last December, ended then was emphatically refused for the new purpose.

The case that I am referring to is the Lynette White Inquiry Police Corruption trial, as it has come to be known. I voluntarily cooperated with the Phase III investigation, which ended ignominiously on December 8th 2011. As per the agreement for me to allow them to use my property, they were obliged to return it at the end of the trial.

I demanded its return at a meeting with ACC Matt Jukes and DCS Tim Jones. They have never disputed that it is my property, nor that I am entitled to it. They simply ignore my wishes to abuse it for their own purposes—purposes that I expressly refused to authorise it for.

Despite this refusal of consent, which has been repeated both by myself and my solicitor, Darren White, the police refuse to return my property. This has gone on for almost eleven months since the end of the trial ended the original purpose that had my consent. Since the end of that trial the police have unlawfully kept my property, preventing me from using my own material. They have lost that willingness to assist now as a result of their conduct.

The Professional Standards Department of that force wrongly classed the complaint against this conduct a control and direction issue after two months, forcing that decision to be appealed to the IPCC and thereby continuing the unlawful retention on my property, which they still unlawfully hold on to. I have been forced to sue them to get my property back. This is a waste of public resources and it will have serious consequences. If journalists who help the police are treated like this, cooperation will end and the police will only have themselves to blame.

Last week the IPCC upheld my complaint obliging the PSD to record my complaint, but the PSD still refuse to talk to me. The behaviour of that department has been nothing short of a complete disgrace. Despite this the IPCC say procedures dictate that I must trust this investigation to a force that has acted dishonestly throughout and still unlawfully retains my property, knowing it has caused me serious damage and is against the law.

I do not trust that force at all any longer and see no reason why they, especially that department, should be allowed to investigate a matter that they caused. In these circumstances the IPCC should take this matter away from that force and that department which I see no reason to cooperate with after their behaviour. If it does not have the powers to do this, then this is a serious flaw in its provisions. It says that I have to let the PSD investigate this matter. This is absurd. There is now an irrevocable breakdown of trust between me and the PSD which has condoned a criminal act by colleagues—the effective theft of my property. Even after the decision ordering them to record it as a complaint they won’t talk to me and I have had enough of this terminally flawed process. It cannot have been the intent of Parliament for the complaints process to be abused like this.

If it is to be competent, it must have transparency and public support. This has neither. A police force should not be allowed to flout the law and manipulate the complaints procedures to get away with criminal conduct, but that is exactly what is happening and the IPCC say I have no choice but to allow them to continue to get away with this.

Furthermore, it should be pointed out that the IPCC has its own investigation relating to that trial. I have made it clear that I do not support or cooperate with it because I believe that process to be unfit for the needs of that case. I specifically emphasised that I do not consent for my material to be used by the IPCC investigation or the CPS or South Wales Police, yet I am being forced to cooperate by the effective theft of my property. How in these circumstances can my concerns be investigated in a plainly transparent process? Who is the IPCC accountable to in these circumstances?

Submission on the IPCC

Executive Summary

The IPCC is not a complaints system, let alone an independent one.

It is totally inappropriate that complainants are forced to make their complaints to the very organisation they are forced to complain about, because self-regulation does not work in any form.

The police cannot be involved in any form in an independent police complaints mechanism.

The IPCC is over-reliant on former police officers as its independent investigators.

The IPCC fails to exercise the degree of control that the public expected and this includes its failure to investigate complaints on issues of public importance, or supervise them.

An independent police complaints system should not allow the police to frustrate complaints by refusing to categorise them properly.

The IPCC allows the police to delay resolution of complaints by cynical manipulation of the system forcing complainants to appeal at every stage.

An independent system cannot and must not tolerate such abuse.

The IPCC has no independent mechanism to deal with conflicts of interest that render it inappropriate to consider complaints.

The IPCC appears to be accountable to nobody. It must be held accountable to an Ombudsman and to Parliament.

The IPCC claims that the Police Reform Act 2002 obliges complainants to go to the force they are complaining about, yet its discredited predecessor had the power to supervise investigations in death in custody cases, which were automatically referred to it.

The IPCC’s failures suggest that it is a deeply flawed organisation, lacking the tools to be an effective safeguard for the public from police excesses.

The IPCC should be abolished and replaced with a genuinely independent body that is also accountable to an Ombudsman and to Parliament through clearly defined structures.

Background

I am a freelance journalist, author and consultant on criminal justice issues. I am also the CEO of The Fitted-In Project (FIP), which is a not for profit organisation that specialises in legal issues, especially regarding miscarriages of justice. I researched a case that became one of Britain’s most notorious miscarriages of justice—a task that took over twenty years and still has not ended. The Lynette White Inquiry remains a unique miscarriage of justice. I have written two books on the case—Fitted In: The Cardiff 3 and the Lynette White Inquiry and The Cardiff Five: Innocent Beyond Any Doubt. I am the undisputed expert on this case and its ramifications and this has resulted in my having worked with police officers and the IPCC among others on it.

My work on this case helped to persuade the authorities to reopen it twice and eventually to make history, becoming the first vindication case in the DNA age in Britain. Vindication is a concept coined by me to describe miscarriage of justice cases where there is no doubt about innocence because the real perpetrator has been brought to justice or if deceased whose guilt has been acknowledged by the authorities. FIP recognises that vindication applies to several other offences, but we have chosen to limit our work in Britain to homicides.

In 1999 the Lynette White Inquiry was reopened for the second time. I cooperated voluntarily in both reopened investigations—the first occurred in 1995. The first investigation 1995–98 failed to identify the real killer and it soon became clear that the police’s attitude was that I should cooperate with them while they froze me out and made idiotic decisions that I was supposed to respect even though I was subsequently proved right and had expert opinion backing me up. That investigation was headed by the then head of South Wales Police’s CID. He would later be disgraced and jailed for corruption in 2010. Despite this experience I was prepared to give other officers and the new processes a fair chance. Nevertheless, the cooperation would once again prove to be a one way process. I gave them assistance for twelve years, sacrificing my own interests in the process. However, this was not enough for their colleagues.

In July 2003 Phase II—the search for Lynette’s killer ended and Phase III began. The latter investigation searched for criminal conduct during the original Lynette White Inquiry. I was interviewed as a witness during it and agreed to some of my property—work—being exhibited. It was made very clear that it was my property, that I had to receive working copies and that the originals and copies had to be returned to me when the Phase III trials ended. I had made it very clear that my cooperation only lasted until the end of the Phase III Lynette White Inquiry trial of the police officers and witnesses. That was the agreed basis of my cooperation, which South Wales Police do not dispute.

However, after the trial ended in farcical circumstances, they simply moved the goal-posts to force me to cooperate with processes they know I do not support. I am the only journalist whose work on this case has been so abused. The Phase III process ended on 8 December 2011 with the ordered acquittals of the remaining four former police officers facing trial—eight former police officers and two witnesses had been acquitted a week earlier. I then demanded the return of my property, as I was entitled to do at a meeting with an Assistant Chief Constable and the Head of the Professional Standards Department (PSD) of South Wales Police. Please note that I do not and did not request the return of my property, I made it clear that I demand it back in accordance with the agreed terms of it being provided to them in the first place.

That department is responsible for rooting out corruption in the force, but it has chosen to use dubious practices to keep my material and use it for processes other than the one investigation that I agreed to cooperate with. They have not even provided any assurances of whether or even if they would ever return it. This is theft under any other name. I do not accept that they ever had an honest intention to keep their word and that my property has therefore been obtained by deception whether that was the original intention or not. It cannot have been the intention of Parliament when drafting the theft laws and in any subsequent amendment that denying an intention to permanently deprive the victim of their property becomes a complete defence to theft. When does depriving someone of their property for an unspecified amount of time breaching the terms of it being provided in the process after they have demanded it back become a deliberate intention to obtain property under false pretences and retain it illegally—effectively theft.

They are keeping my property and work against my wishes and depriving me of the right to choose how my work is used and by whom. They have even prevented me from using my own work while they illegally do as they please with it. They now claim that lawyers for the Chief Constable of South Wales say the law entitles them to do what they have done. Really? If this is correct they should have no problem detailing the law and provisions that allow them to do this. Despite requests from my solicitor and me to do this they have not done so. We are entitled to know why not.

I maintain that they have no legal right to do what they have done and that if there been the slightest suggestion that they could or would try to do this, they would never have secured my cooperation in the first place. They must have known that I would never have given my consent to allow such use of my work, so it was never sought. As such if they now try to seize such rights this has to be seen as obtaining my property and work under false pretences at the very least.

They have refused to identify the law that allegedly entitles them to do this despite having been asked to do so by both me and my solicitor. If such a law exists which I doubt then Parliament is gravely at fault. It would mean that professionals such as journalists, investigators and others who agree to assist one police investigation find themselves assisting an unspecified number of processes for that force, other forces and even other organisations without their agreement being needed for an unspecified duration that can even be for ever. Imagine the outcry if this had occurred in a jurisdiction that we do not approve of. Parliament cannot have intended to give such sweeping powers to police forces that would have been condemned as a police state in other jurisdictions. Such conduct, if allowed, means there is no limit on the seizure of cooperation for any process and that the agreement to return my property at the end of the trial was utterly worthless.

To further their aims of breaking the terms of my cooperation they have subsequently used and abused the police complaints mechanisms. It was never explained to me in advance that if they felt like it they could steal my cooperation for processes that I do not support or respect. Had they explained that the agreement was in their eyes worthless and that they would seize my cooperation against my will once they had my property and work, preventing me from using it and reneging on other promises of cooperation too, they know full well that I would have chosen not to cooperate. Either the terms of it being provided are binding on them or it has been obtained under false pretences and is now being used unlawfully.

They also know that I am offended by the behaviour of both the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) throughout the course of Phase III and beyond, so rather than risk my refusal to cooperate with their decision to cooperate with those organisations; they have stolen my cooperation for their processes and others. Their conduct is utterly despicable and undermines the core of democratic principles and policing by consent. I did not consent, so they take my cooperation against my wishes and effectively steal my property. This steals my copyright, my intellectual property and work. If anyone else had done this, it would be called theft.

They made no attempt to convince me to cooperate. They were told they had to regain my trust. Instead of attempting to do that, they kept asking me to agree to let them keep it. When I said no they said they were keeping it anyway. This is outrageous. I had broken no laws. Their colleagues had agreed to the basis of my cooperation before getting access to my work and they simply ignore it. That is at the very least obtaining property under false pretences. They do not disagree that it is my property, but they claim I requested it back. I did not request it, I demanded it. It is mine not theirs. I have the right to decide what happens to it, not them. I do not have to request it back from them. They are obliged to return it and promptly after being told it has to be returned. If not the agreement for me to cooperate by allowing them to use it was a complete sham.

What they are doing is stealing my property and work. I did not give it to them to use as they saw fit for as long as they wanted. The terms of use were clear and defined. They have breached them and various laws too. They have recently said they are using it for different processes—none of which were agreed to by me. What were they afraid of? Could it be that they thought they would not be able to convince me to cooperate with these processes, so they decided to take my cooperation effectively by stealing it?

I have been reasonable and fair to that force—far more so than they had any right to expect from me. Instead of respecting that, they fear I will not cooperate any more so rather than risk my making that decision, which is almost certainly what will happen now, but because of their behaviour, they chose to unlawfully force my cooperation by breaking the terms of the agreement—effectively robbing me of my property and free choice indefinitely. If the law and police complaints mechanism tolerate this, then we are living in a police state. There can be no doubt that South Wales Police have broken the terms of the agreement that resulted in my cooperation for one process alone—the police corruption trial. They have stolen my work and property and cooperation, abusing my copyright and done so by obtaining it under false pretences. They have robbed me of my right to choose whether or not to cooperate with their further processes. This has been done by the very people who should be stamping out such conduct in that force and goes right to the very top of that department.

In order to prevent or at least unreasonably delay the return of my property, they forced me to complain about their refusal to return my property, having made it clear that neither they nor the IPCC should be involved as both are beneficiaries of their effective theft of my property. They spent two months deciding to refuse to categorise it as a complaint against their conduct. It plainly was that and more and they then tried to force me to cooperate with their decision. I refused, so they refused to talk to me, insisting that I had to appeal against their decision to the IPCC if I disagreed. Again they are trying to force me to legitimise their scandalous conduct by forcing me to cooperate. This outrageous delaying tactic served their intention of stealing access to my property for their purposes. Without consulting me and knowing that both the IPCC and CPS had been informed by both me and my solicitor that this was my property and I had not consented to it being sent to them, South Wales Police’s Professional Standards Department outrageously sent my material or copies to these organisations. Either I have the right to choose whether or not I want to cooperate or not, or my cooperation can be compelled without having committed or being suspected of any offence. It cannot have been the intent of Parliament that police forces can behave in such a fashion.

In October 2012, five months after the complaint was lodged, the IPCC upheld my appeal that my complaint had to be recorded. Despite this, the Professional Standards Department still refused to talk to me. The force refuses to discuss the return of my property and its switchboard forces me to talk to the PSD, which insists that I talk to the IPCC. They had plainly decided to steal my cooperation, breach the previous agreement and use and abuse the IPCC to achieve their ends. They have consistently delayed consideration of the substantive issue, only responding to the IPCC’s decision near the end of the three weeks. The response makes it clear that they have no intention of investigating this complaint and never had. They have decided to steal my copyright and work. If this had been done by a civilian—a journalist for example—they would be arrested and rightly so. It is clear that serious and important issues are at stake—ones that the IPCC should have to deal with and promptly if is to be considered part of the solution. For reasons that will be made clear below I have come to the conclusion that the IPCC itself is irredeemably flawed and must be replaced.

Inadequate Powers

Eight years ago the IPCC was established. The public was assured that it was independent and that it had greater powers than its predecessor the Police Complaints Authority (PCA). Just before it became operational in 2004 I was among those assured by its then Deputy Chairman John Wadham that it would prove itself to be different from its discredited predecessors and that people like myself would not let it be a PCA Mark Two. The IPCC was given significant new powers, which included the power to utilise investigators of complaints who were not police officers, but pertinent questions remain on what the IPCC is, how independent a complaints system it is and whether it is an effective system to deal with complaints against the police? In fact there are doubts as to whether it is a complaints system at all.

Recently the current Chair of the IPCC gave evidence to this Committee. The IPCC’s representatives pointed out that it was in reality an appeals system rather than one that deals with complaints, suggesting that a change of name would be welcome. Perhaps, but such tinkering at the edges will not suffice. Far too many former police officers are employed by it as independent investigators. It says it wants investigators from a non-police background. I would like to think that my experience and competence as an investigator of such issues would mean I would be the type of person that it would be seeking to recruit. However, for reasons that I will make clear below it is something I would not consider.

Complainants are forced to bring their concerns to the very force that they are complaining about. Their concerns about the obvious partiality and potential for bias in this process are brushed aside. I was told that the IPCC had no power to agree to my request that they personally take over the complaint even though it must have been glaringly obvious that there was the perception and very real possibility of a biased approach at the start of the process. Before long that perception had turned to proof by their refusal to investigate the complaint fairly. The perception of bias had turned into reality.

The IPCC insists that complaints must in the first instance be directed to the Professional Standards Department of the force complained about. So what is their response when informed that the officers you want to complain about work for that very department? In my case I was informed that I still had no choice, but to complain to the PSD. Even telling them that the person in charge of that department was one of the people involved in the conduct complained of and that I intended further complaints made little difference. I was told to take the matter up with a superior officer, but this involves an Assistant Chief Constable and an officer of that rank was involved as well. This alone should oblige an effective complaints system to take the whole complaint away from the force complained about. If the IPCC is to have any credibility, it must investigate such complaints itself. It cannot claim to be independent of the police if it does not do that.

In addition to this the IPCC is in this case a beneficiary of the conduct complained of. They were informed that I did not want to cooperate with their Commissioner Sarah Green’s investigation unless they acknowledged my status and interest in the case. Instead they wanted me alone to submit to an insulting and demeaning process where I have to set out a case to be treated as an interested party. Not even the police tried that. I find it grossly insulting and refused to do so. I also made it clear that I refused them cooperation and that they were not to receive my property (work) for their investigation. They have never acknowledged that communication or one from my solicitor on that issue. They have compounded this by allowing themselves to be used and abused the PSD of South Wales Police to continue their outrageous abuse of my previous cooperation for another and clearly defined purpose.

Usually complaints are investigated by the police force complained of, although there are limited circumstances where the IPCC will themselves conduct an initial investigation or supervise the police investigation. So what are these exceptions and why were they not applied in the circumstances of my complaint where very serious issues had been raised? In any country that claims to be governed by the rule of law and to value the civil and political and human rights of its citizens the right to decide how to use one’s work and property must belong to the owner of that work. In my case I agreed to the loan of my work for a specific purpose and only for that purpose and it was for a limited period. The duration was the length of the police corruption trial as it came to be called. I had not consented to its use for any other purpose or for longer than that trial lasted. Those were the terms of the property and work being made available to the police officers. Neither the original officers which took those items, nor the PSD have never disputed that those were the terms and that they were agreed to before the police were allowed to take possession of that property. Consequently, reneging on that agreement means the property was obtained under false pretences.

Unfortunately, they have serially breached those terms and refuse to return it. It cannot under any circumstances be acceptable that the so-called police complaints process allows them to allegedly investigate themselves and abuse the process by delaying the only acceptable resolution of this matter—the immediate and unconditional return of my property and fully independent investigation of their outrageous conduct. The fact that the IPCC has allowed this to happen without seeking to take over the complaint and that it is a beneficiary of this conduct suggest that it is not suitable for purpose. The public want and expect an independent police complaints system. We still do not have that. I am not convinced that the IPCC can ever be that body.

An Egregious Abuse of Procedures—My Case

My property, which consisted of work that I had conducted over 20 years, was the result of cooperation and trust that I had built up over that period. There were papers, transcripts of interviews, the tapes of the interviews, photographs and letters. I was deprived of them by the police, despite assurances that I would be given working copies during the Phase III investigation. That did not happen. This ensured that I could not use my own material for my latest book, The Cardiff Five: Innocent Beyond Any Doubt. Their subsequent refusal to return my property robbed me of the opportunity to use my own putative evidence for that trial in my book as well and quite possibly any subsequent articles or books as they have provided that material without even informing me in advance to another police force for an unrelated murder inquiry and for other processes, including for civil actions brought by others presumably against them. I never consented to assist them in that manner and they have not even had the courtesy to ask for my cooperation in those matters—they have simply taken it. Their cavalier disregard for my rights and the law are truly disturbing. Despite being told to return the property or say what law entitled them to keep it against the conditions of use and my wishes, they have refused to comply or even answer my solicitor’s letter demanding an explanation of what law entitled them to steal my cooperation by refusing to return my property.

In the course of the Phase III investigation I became a witness. Statements were taken from me by officers and interviews with me were tape-recorded. That is their property, even though I would like copies of them, but the property that was given to them by me was loaned to them only until the end of the trial. The conditions of use agreed before they were allowed access to my property let alone use of it was that it was mine and had to be returned at the end of the trial. It was for that purpose alone. They did not suggest that they would seize the right to make up rules afterwards. They did not say that they would be allowed to retain it against my wishes for processes that had not even been agreed then and that they would decide when or even if the property would be returned. They did not say that they would use it for civil actions. Had they even suggested such a thing South Wales Police would never have been allowed anywhere near my property and work. They were obviously aware of that, so they never mentioned such a possibility. They have therefore obtained my work and continue to deprive me of it under false pretences. Offering me copies now does not in any way redress the unlawful use and retention of my work.

The IPCC has had almost a decade to prove itself. Unfortunately, the evidence—admittedly from personal experience—establishes that it is unfit for purpose. In the first place it admits that it is not even a complaints body. It does not investigate complaints against the police. My case is actually a matter of public importance. The very department that is there to root out corruption and deal with complaints is the department that is behaving outrageously. I was forced to make a complaint as it became clear that the force had no intention of dealing with me honestly. They suggested a so-called compromise. They wanted me to let them keep my property and use it as they wished, while giving me copies. I refused. It is my property, my work and my right to choose whether to cooperate with additional processes or not. When they failed to get my agreement, they simply ignored that and me. After five months they made it clear that they would take my cooperation against my will as I would not agree to their outrageous demands voluntarily. I made a complaint, making it clear that I did not trust South Wales Police to investigate it. The PSD took two months to refuse to record it as a complaint against them. They continued to steal my cooperation and I now know they sent my work to others without my consent.

In the first instance complaints are left to the police to categorise. They can choose whether to do that or not. This is completely outrageous. By miscategorising the nature of a complaint, they can frustrate and obstruct and delay the consideration of the merit of the complaint. In my case they achieved a result desired by the force being complained about—namely to deliberately delay the consideration of the substantive of the complaint, which would enable them to keep my property and use it for their purposes without my knowledge or consent.

South Wales Police’s attempt to put right what they got wrong in the Lynette White case ended in failure. They immediately announced that they would cooperate with investigations to be conducted by the IPCC and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). I chose not to because the terms of reference of those inquiries were far too limited and because of experiences I had had with both those organisations. The CPS (Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions is the head of the CPS) and IPCC were informed by both me and my solicitor that I was not cooperating with their investigations and did not consent to them being supplied with my property for those investigations by the police and that legal proceedings would be considered if they accepted my work from them. Despite that I have subsequently found out that the PSD ignored my wishes and provided them with my property and that neither organisation informed me or my solicitor that they had received them. The IPCC are therefore beneficiaries of the conduct complained about in this case.

It quickly became obvious that the PSD had no intention of returning my property to me and had decided that it would seize my cooperation and use and abuse the complaints procedures to facilitate their intention to use my work for other purposes that I had not agreed to. Their refusal to categorise my complaint as a complaint against their conduct was designed to waste time and it achieved that end. The force’s switchboard was told not to allow me to talk to anyone but the PSD and the PSD staff refused to talk to me, insisting I talk to the IPCC. Even when the IPCC upheld my complaint, almost eleven months after the police refused to return my property, the PSD still refused to talk to me. I have them recorded refusing to talk to me even after the IPCC ordered them to record the complaint. They did this knowing that I was recording them.

I informed the IPCC that the very department that was refusing to cooperate with me was the department they insisted I take my complaint to and they insisted that I had to do that. They claimed that Parliament gave them no choice. I find it impossible to believe that Parliament could have intended a police complaints system where the supposedly independent body does not investigate complaints—even ones that have such serious ramifications for democratic principles and individual rights as this. It must surely be my right in a supposedly democratic country governed by the rule of law to choose whether or not to cooperate with these processes. I have broken no laws. My property and work was not the subject of confiscation orders. It was not the proceeds of drug-dealing or aiding and abetting terrorism. It was not the subject of a court order compelling me to cooperate. The police simply abused the complaints procedures to achieve their ends—forcing my cooperation by stealing it and flagrantly breaching the agreed terms of use.

I informed the IPCC that the head of PSD was involved in the conduct complained of. He was at the meeting where I demanded the return of my property. I do not request it as that term concedes that they have an implied right to decide what happens to my property. I did not and do not concede that. It is my case that they must observe the terms of use of my property that had been agreed with the Phase III officers. This is not negotiable. It is my right alone to decide what happens to my property and work. Despite the IPCC’s caseworker upholding my appeal that it was a complaint about police conduct the Head of PSD responded by ignoring the decision, insisting that it was really a control and direction issue and usurping my rights. His response makes it clear that there has been no investigation of the complaint at all. They have not tried to talk to me or my solicitor. They have simply said they had legal advice that says they can keep my property against my wishes and use it as they see fit. They have again refused to say what law this is and who gave such advice. I am attaching the response of the Head of PSD and the IPCC’s decision to uphold my appeal as evidence of the intransigent attitude of PSD. It is plain that I cannot and will not get any reasonable redress from them or fair consideration on my complaint. A complaints system that allows the person and people complained of to make a decision on the merits of a complaint against them is utterly outrageous. The IPCC tolerates and even encourages this and is a beneficiary of said conduct. The PSD even uses my work to help the force defend civil actions against it without my consent. That is completely outrageous. In this case they and the IPCC are the problem and cannot be any part of the solution.

Conclusion

For the reasons outlined above I have come to the following conclusions. The IPCC is not a complaints system at all let alone an independent one. It is either wilfully flouting the intent of Parliament or it was a deeply flawed institution when it was established. The public does not and cannot have faith in a complaints system that is in reality a very limited appeals system that does not intervene even when the officers complained of work for the very department the IPCC insists must be trusted to investigate. That is hardly independent or impartial. The IPCC has powers to supervise or even investigate, but does not use them sufficiently to justify its existence.

If those powers (possibly too limited) are not used even in a complaint against the head of the PSD—the department that investigates complaints—there can be no hope for it. I therefore conclude that the IPCC is a fatally flawed organisation and that only a fully independent body with independent investigators and powers to investigate any complaint it chooses to can enjoy public confidence. The IPCC is not and in my opinion cannot become that organisation and this is not simply a question of resources, personnel and powers—it is a question of attitude. Has it even asked for the powers to investigate a complaint like mine independently of the police? If it has not demanded those powers, we are entitled to demand to know why not?

Satish Sekar

November 2012

Prepared 1st February 2013