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Police watchdog inquiry launched over Carl Beech report

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An inquiry has been ordered into the police watchdog after its file on the investigation into false allegations of a VIP Westminster paedophile host was termed “a farce.”

The home affairs special committee revealed on Monday that it had ordered an inquiry into the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which looks at severe allegations about officers and staff in England and Wales. It will also review and consider the role of police and crime officers.

MPs will also review the efficiency of the police disciplinary methodologies after drawing criticism of the system.

Yvette Cooper, the head of the committee, said: “When the government set up the Independent Office of Police Conduct in January 2018, it was an assurance. A promise of fresh powers, more independence, and rapid decision-making.

“These decisions were supposed to help transparency and create trust in police complaints and disciplinary methods.”

“Close to almost a couple of years later, we are still hearing complaints and concerns that the mechanism is not functioning the way as it should,” she added.

“In this inquiry we are aiming to look at the IOPC’s rules and effectiveness but, since most of the complaints are dealt with by local powers under the eyes of police and the crime commissioners, we shall also look at whether even more expansive reforms are needed to ensure a system in which the public can trust even more than usual.”

In 2017-18, it was reported that there were 31,671 official complaints against the police, an improvement from 34,103 in the previous year.

However, this has slowly increased over the past decade, with 22,898 before told in 2004-05.

The IOPC was set up in place of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which was taken off after facing heavy criticism for inefficiency and lethargy.

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