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Operation Pomeroy Response from PCC Coppinger

PCC at computer2

Many people will be aware that I support the publication of the report into Operation Pomeroy and I have written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to ask them to publish it.

I have been advised by the IPCC’s legal team this morning that publication of the report could cause a real risk to the outcome of a second managed investigation being conducted by another Force on behalf of the IPCC, and they are therefore not publishing it at this time.

I would however, like to reiterate the following points in relation to the investigation:

  • The six complaints were received by Cleveland Police in 2010 – of these four were unsubstantiated, one was a “statement of fact” involving an officer from another force, and the one complaint which was upheld was the one the Force has settled on.
  • In October 2011, one of the officers under investigation, who had reached 30 years’ service, retired.
  • Suspension decisions are taken in the context of a national framework and the suspension of this officer was fully considered, and the decision not to suspend was taken in accordance with the policy and practices of the Force and based solely upon the information and evidence presented by the investigation team.
  • Police officers’ pensions can only be removed if they are convicted of a criminal offence in a court, and this is set down in legislation. It is a decision for the Crown Prosecution Service whether to prosecute and in this case they decided not to take the matter to court. There is no opportunity to affect police officers’ pensions following misconduct. 
  • Lessons have been learned from this and there is a comprehensive action plan in place covering the selection and training of Senior Investigating Officers (SIOs), the use and monitoring of policy decision books, the introduction of regular reviews of long running investigations.
  • It is a fact that there is insurance in place, as with other public sector organisations, to cover the cost of settlements such as the one paid out to Mr Watson.

Sometimes mistakes are made, and it is up to us to apologise when we get it wrong. What we need to focus on is continuing to reduce crime, protect the public and serve our communities. I know through my feedback from community meetings that members of the public are supportive of their local police, and I hope that this continues.

 

Posted on Friday 17th May 2013
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