Yorkshire police officers have 'no confidence or faith' in 'not fit for purpose' police watchdog
Yorkshire's police officers do not have any confidence or faith in a police watchdog which they deem "not fit for purpose", force representatives have claimed.
West Yorkshire Police Federation Vice Chairman Craig Grandison has criticised the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) - the body in charge of investigating the actions of police officers - for the time it takes to conclude police officer probes.
Mr Grandison said while police officers have no issue with being held accountable for their actions, all too often the federation is seeing the "devastating effects elongated investigations" are having on innocent officers' lives.
The Home Affairs Select Committee is currently looking into the IOPC’s timescales for investigating police officer conduct.
As part of the Police Federation of England and Wales’s (PFEW) #TimeLimits campaign, the Federation will be giving evidence to Parliament on Wednesday surrounding the impact of lengthy disciplinary investigations on officers, their families and their colleagues.
The campaign has pushed for investigations into police officers to be capped at 12 months.
Mr Grandison said: "I am pleased to see a review of IOPC timescales. Sometimes the effects of lengthy investigations are so great that officers never return to policing. That cannot be right and cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.
“The system is clearly broken if it takes so many months and sometimes years to investigate some alleged misconduct offences. Clearly the IOPC needs better training and processes to manage investigations, so that all are treated fairly and justly.
Mr Grandison's comments have been echoed by South Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Steve Kent.
He said: "We have officers who are sometimes investigated for years, and it's just not good enough. I've just had a case that's been finalised after two years for a relatively simple matter.
"It's unacceptable that officers are left to wait this long."
PFEW National Conduct and Performance Lead Phill Matthews said "protracted" disciplinary investigations have ruined the careers of "multiple colleagues", leaving a mark on their mental health and placing pressure on their home lives.
Mr Matthews also believes the public's trust in the system will erode if they do not think their complaints will be dealt with quickly.
He said: "This issue is already something many complainants frequently express.
"We are encouraged the IOPC is keen to work with us rather than against us. However, the issue of investigations rumbling on for more than a year still continues, and enough is enough.”
The Yorkshire Post has contacted the IOPC for a response.