The Metropolitan Police Federation has hit out at the timeliness of Independent Office of Police Conduct Investigations and the damaging effect they have on public and police officer confidence.
Ken Marsh, Federation Chair, spoke before the Police and Crime Committee at City Hall on 22 June about Operation Hotton which addressed allegations of bullying and harassment amongst a team of officers working at Charing Cross Police Station between 2016 and 2018.
Ken said: “We don’t have any issue with the investigation, it was carried out in the right manner, although the time was too long. And we face that constantly in the world of policing.
“The problem we have is the dialogue – when we talk about public confidence – the dialogue that came out constantly from the Mayor and from others was directed in relation to incidents that happened with this investigation which were prior.
“For example, the Mayor went on record numerous times, saying ‘and these officers were allowed to go on and be promoted’. That wasn’t the case. They were promoted prior to the investigation being carried out and completed. Which quite rightly, a police officer is allowed to do that within the [Police] Regulations.
“To stand and publicly say that gives a perception that you have been found guilty of these horrific things and are allowed to go on… That was not the case. And it is because of the lack of timeliness that we faced what was put in front of us. Constantly, and the public are fed this on a constant basis. That is what we are not happy with.”
Ken said significant changes have been made in the force following the report, which they supported.
He added: “We are all for internal scrutiny and very good internal scrutiny so that we change correctly as we go forward.”