Police Complaints Procedures in the United Kingdom and Ireland: Why are the Reforms not Working?
An independent element in the investigation of complaints against police officers was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1964. It first appeared in Ireland in 1986. Over the following years the independent element has been strengthened on several occasions in response in response to persistent concerns that it was not delivering effective accountability. In this paper I consider why the latest round of reforms is continuing to disappoint. Key factors would appear to be: continued reliance on internal police investigators and technical expertise; lack of rigour in investigations; regulatory capture; police obstructionism; and lack of resources. Further reforms are suggested.
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