Home AffairsWritten evidence submitted by Richard Wildblood [IPCC 35]

Without going into great detail, I made a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after ten months of silence from Essex Police following a complaint to that police force. The IPCC made an initial investigation and as a result instructed Essex Police to make a new and more detailed investigation into my complaints. Essex Police promptly declared that they were unable to comply with the directive from the IPCC as they had “lost” all the evidence.

The IPCC did not seem to find this declaration in the least surprising and closed the case with no new investigation by Essex Police, making the comment that it was “unfortunate” that the evidence had become “lost”. It did not seem suspicious to the IPCC that a police force could conveniently “lose” evidence. I held copies of the evidence and offered to make it available to the IPCC. However they stated that the case was now closed and could not be re-opened. Essex Police now hide behind the Hill Principle—that a police force cannot be sued for negligence and blithely declare that they were negligent in “losing” all the evidence in the case. The IPCC can only be viewed as a toothless bulldog—the title of the article I wrote and which was published concerning this matter.

My case is now at the European Court of Human Rights and it is disappointing that I have to take my case outside of this country’s jurisdiction to seek some form of justice. The IPCC should have been more rigorous and more inquisitive as to how a police force could conveniently “lose” evidence when confronted with difficult questions. I lost over a million pounds as a result of unlawful actions that Essex Police refused to investigate and the IPCC were impotent to enforce their instructions to that police force. I hold evidence showing substantial wrongdoings by Essex Police but the IPCC refuse to consider any further submissions. The IPCC is substantially staffed by ex-police officers and this cannot be the right way to ensure the organisation’s Independence. My experience of the IPCC is that it is anything but independent, merely acting as a “get out of jail free card” for errant police forces.

Richard Wildblood

November 2012

Prepared 1st February 2013