Why the IPCC must prove it has teeth

originally by: TBIJ
30th August 2011

Four deaths at the hands of the police in just three weeks has thrust the issue of state sanctioned use of force into the limelight.

The police shooting of Mark Duggan, the taser-related deaths of Dale Burns and Phillip Hulmes and the death of amateur rugby player Jacob Micheal following the use of CS gas and restraint have received extensive coverage by the tabloids and broadsheets.

All are individual tragedies. But together they form part of a longer-running, yet little told narrative of over a thousand deaths in police custody in this country since the early 1970s and over three hundred since 1998.

Despite this only once has a police officer ever been convicted following a custodial death – in 1971 for the death of David Oluwale.

IPCC ineptitude

And the Independent Police Complaint Commission, IPCC – the body that polices the police – has been heavily criticised for its shoddy investigations following recent high profile cases such as Ian Tomlinson and Jean Charles de Menezes.

But these are just two cases. For every Tomlinson and de Menezes there are many others that have been swept under the radar of the mainstream media.

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