London: Fewer than one in 10 British police officers found to have potentially committed gross misconduct by the watchdog are dismissed, the Guardian can reveal. Figures released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) show 641 officers in England and Wales may have so seriously breached standards that they were liable to be sacked between 2015 and 2020, but just 54 (8.4%) were fired after disciplinary action was conducted internally. Another 848 officers were found to have a case to answer over possible misconduct, but in total only 363 of the misconduct claims have so far been upheld following IOPC recommendations.
There were official warnings in 151 of these cases, and 16 retirements or resignations. Many more disciplinary cases against officers occur without the involvement of the IOPC. The IOPC received statutory powers in February to ensure forces investigate those found to have a case to answer, but internal police disciplinary panels still have the final say and the watchdog said its role is not to be “judge and jury”. The figures, obtained through freedom of information requests, raise questions about the efficacy of the IOPC, which receives £71m per year from the Home Office. These issues were amplified by anti-racism protests in the UK last summer amid concern over police use of force and the number of deaths in custody without officers subsequently facing charges.
Read more: Mattha Busby, Guardian, https://is.gd/xisODy