Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
Introduction and background
The Public Inquiry Team is currently responsible for providing MPS support & disclosure to several ongoing Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) Investigations, the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) and MPS counsel for the provision of material and information.
Since September 2015 this strand of Public Inquiry Team continually struggled to meet its operational commitments and progress the digitisation process of the MPS Anti-Corruption records.
Phase 1 of this project was completed on schedule in July 2016. Phase 2 of the project now requires significant MPS staff input if it is to complete on time (Sept 2018).
This small team of officers is also currently responsible for providing MPS support & disclosure to several ongoing IPCC Investigations.
Issues for consideration
The Public Inquiry has set clear expectations on the MPS to ensure all potentially relevant material is identified, located and protected. Given the extent of material held across a very wide range of paper and IT based systems and the difficulties of identifying relevant material this places a major resource demand on the Public Inquiry Team.
The duration of the investigations is largely dependent on the MPS ability to meet the disclosure requests. Pragmatically this means that the financial onus will remain with the MPS until the investigation is complete.
The higher than anticipated demand from the IPCC Investigations, UCPI and MPSs counsel for the provision of material and information is in excess of the capacity of the existing team.
To fail to adequately resource redaction and disclosure processes potentially risks the safety of former and existing Undercover Officers in addition to the tactic.
If the MPS fails in its duty to fully support both the UCPI & IPCC independent investigations will leave the MPS open to criticism from affected parties, Mark Ellison QC, the Judge leading the UCPI, public opinion and the press.
This paper is requesting for the additional cost required in 2016/17 to be released from Reserves.
Additional cost from 2017/18 onwards to be built into the Medium Term Financial Plan, which will therefore require additional savings in the MPS to cover both these additional costs and to replenish the Reserves used in 2016/17.
The MPS has legal obligations under CPIA 1996, Police Reform Act of 2002 to comply and support all IPCC investigations.
The MPS’ inability to adequately support the UCPI and ongoing IPCC Investigations will impact on the confidence of the diverse communities of Metropolis, who may draw negative conclusions as a result.