IPCC: is it time to put down police's pet watchdog?

originally by: Socialist Worker
published: 15 May 2012

As a series of scandals continue to rock the cops, Socialist Worker shows that the organisation that is supposed to police the police is worse than useless. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is under constant criticism for failing to seriously investigate police crime.

Eleven cases of alleged racism in the Metropolitan Police have been referred to the IPCC. These have emerged since an officer was recorded racially abusing a black man during last summer’s riots.

The organisation is also investigating police corruption in the Stephen Lawrence case. But the organisation’s record since it was established in 2004 gives little reason for optimism.

For instance, the IPCC is responsible for investigating deaths in custody. Yet for 1,429 people who died in police custody between 1990 and 2011 not a single police officer has been convicted. On this central issue, the creation of the IPCC in 2004 made no difference whatsoever.

The IPCC replaced the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) following the 2002 Police Reform Act.

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