Investigations into police conduct take too long
The London Assembly has today condemned the action taken by the Independent Office for Police Conduct against PC Edwin Sutton.
The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing after two years and Assembly Members believe the length of investigations should be reduced.
Susan Hall AM, who proposed the motion said:
“London is fortunate enough to be served by thousands of hard-working and brave police officers who regularly put themselves in harm’s way to keep the rest of us safe. They protect us, and we should protect them.
“IOPC investigations seem to be all too regularly taking far too long, with PC Sutton having to wait two years to clear his name. The excessive length of these investigations is damaging both to the police service and to the officer under investigation, who can come under a great deal of emotional strain and have their career interrupted.
“Being one of the most powerful politicians in the country, the Mayor is in a position to exert some pressure on the IOPC. He should use his influence to encourage the IOPC to review their processes and reduce these unacceptable investigation lengths”.
The full text of the motion is:
This Assembly condemns the action taken against PC Edwin Sutton by the IOPC. PC Sutton in the course of his duties, knocked a suspected moped mugger to the ground, and subsequently faced a criminal investigation and disciplinary proceedings, finally being cleared after two years. Whilst no police officer is above the law, many investigations against officers take place despite there being a very low evidence threshold and a minimal chance of conviction. Furthermore, investigations take far too long - in some cases years - leaving the officers concerned in a state of limbo for protracted periods of time. The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to make representations to the IOPC to significantly reduce the length of investigations and to review the evidential threshold that must be met for an investigation to proceed.
Notes to editors
- Watch the full webcast
- The motion was agreed unanimously.
- Susan Hall AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.