Police complaints HR boss defends integrity of group

The head of HR at the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has spoken out in its defence following questions over its handling of the high-profile investigation into the fatal shooting of an innocent man in London.

Last month, London mayor Ken Livingstone questioned the professionalism of the IPCC, and accused it of “leaking like a sieve” over the report into the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station on 22 July 2005.

But HR chief Colin Woodward said the body was adamant that it was not the source of the leak.

“The IPCC is a high-profile organisation, and people are invariably going to make comments about our performance,” he told Personnel Today. “We have made it clear that the leak did not come from us.”

The IPCC was set up in April 2004 and has overall responsibility for the police complaints system. One of its main tasks is to increase public confidence in that system, Woodward said.

“From an HR perspective, we have had to get people into the organisation to do a job that hasn’t been done before. There are clear external stakeholder expectations and we need to find people capable of delivering them,” he said.

The IPCC is working with Skills for Justice – the skills council for the justice sector – to develop a training framework for its casework employees.

“We are looking to have our staff accredited to an external standard and gain the expertise necessary for their jobs,” Woodward said.

The IPCC has taken over the system for complaints against HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and, later this year, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.

Woodward said this level of confidence from the government proved the watchdog was doing a good job.

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