'Scandalous incompetence' of IPCC blasted over pursuit case
A police officer cleared of wrongdoing after an 18-month Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation has spoken of the torment the case put him through.
At a Gross Misconduct hearing last week PC Simon Folwell was told he “no case to answer” following on from a police pursuit in February 2016.
PC Folwell – who has had restrictions on his duties since the incident – spoke of the “humiliation” the case caused both him and his family, particularly when the Independent Police Complaints Commission decided to name him months ahead of the hearing.
“People assume you have done something wrong,” PC Folwell, of Greater Manchester Police said this week. “It’s like you are guilty until proven innocent.
“It’s a job I love doing but I have had to take time off with stress through it all. It just all got too much. To be frank it was humiliating for me and my family.”
Greater Manchester Police disagreed with the IPCC’s finding of evidence of a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to the incident.
However the IPCC ploughed on regardless and IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori used his powers to direct that a hearing take place.
This has now been described as “wasting tens of thousands of pounds of public money” by Greater Manchester Police Federation after the officer was totally vindicated for his actions.
PC Folwell added: “For 18 months I have been waiting for a hearing to clear my name. My life has been put on hold. You begin to doubt yourself.
“My advice to fellow officers is to believe in yourself, always speak to the Police Federation and ensure post-incident procedures are put in place following an incident.
“I cannot fault Greater Manchester Police and the Federation for their help and support throughout this process.”
PC Folwell praised GMP Federation’s Brian McGill and Mike Peake for their assistance and that of Barrister Mark Aldred.
Ian Hanson, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “It is absolutely beyond belief that this officer was put through this process for simply doing his job.
“PC Folwell acted quite properly and the panel recognised that in finding that there was no case for him to even answer.
“I really believe that the time has come for the public to be made aware of the scandalous incompetence of the IPCC and the fact that enormous sums of public money are being wasted on investigations that have no merit.
“The IPCC urgently need to have a long hard look at themselves because whoever is responsible for this most recent example of wasting tens of thousands of pounds of public money needs now holding to account themselves.”