The Authority is required by section 32(1) of the Independent Police Conduct Authority Act 1988 to maintain secrecy in respect of complaints, and by section 23(2) to conduct its investigations in private. However it does have the discretion to publish public reports, under section 34 of the Act.
In the past, the majority of complaints considered or investigated by the Authority have been concluded by way of direct correspondence with the complainant. However, following legal advice, the Authority board has decided to release more public reports of the Authority’s independent investigations unless there is an overriding private interest in maintaining confidentiality. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Summary reports of the findings of our independent investigations will be available on this website, with private details kept anonymous where necessary.
The Authority receives approximately 2,000 complaints each year. However by no means does the Authority investigate that number. Most are referred back to the Police for investigation under the Authority’s independent oversight.
Five Authority investigators undertake independent investigations of the most serious complaints, such as those involving death, grievous bodily harm, or serious misconduct, considered to be ‘Category 1’ complaints. In 2011-12 there were 87 Category 1 complaints received.