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Balkwell case to Parliament

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If the IPCC think a crime needs to be investigated by an independent police force...

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Balkwell case to Parliament

Post by Tony Bennett on 01.04.10 11:18

ETA I am really sorry, I have put this on the wrong thread by mistake Thank you for putting this on the right thread so quickly


Questions asked by James Brokenshire about the Lee Balkwell case:

Lee Balkwell

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions (a) officials and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with (i) Essex Police and (ii) others on the death of Lee Balkwell at Baldwins Farm, Upminster on 18 July 2002; and if he will seek an explanation from Essex Police on why it has not implemented in full the recommendations of the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to the investigation of the case. [324092]

Mr. Hanson [holding answer 25 March 2010]: The only contacts which my officials have had with Essex Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in this case have been to obtain information in preparing responses to correspondence on this tragic case received from the hon. Member.

It is for individual police forces to decide how to respond to IPCC recommendations following investigations and Home Office Ministers have no power to intervene in those decisions.

I understand that the IPCC recommended that Essex Police appoint an external force to conduct an independent reinvestigation into Lee Balkwell's death.

Essex Police decided to appoint an external force to review the Essex police investigations to date. West Midlands Police is conducting that internal review, which is continuing.


Independent Police Complaints Commission

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Independent Police Complaints Commission in holding the actions of police forces to account; [323275]
(2) if he will take steps to require police forces to implement the recommendations of the Independent Police Complaints Commission or to state publicly the reasons why they do not intend to implement them. [323276]

Mr. Hanson [holding answer 22 March 2010]: On receipt of a report of an investigation conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) police chiefs are required to report back to the IPCC on the action the police force proposes to take in respect of the matters dealt with in the report. Such matters will include consideration of recommendations from the IPCC as to whether disciplinary proceedings should be brought against a person serving with the police.

Where the force does not accept the recommendation of the IPCC as to the bringing of disciplinary proceedings, the IPCC has the power to direct that disciplinary proceedings are brought.

The Public Accounts Committee's Fifteenth Report on the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), published in March 2009, recommended that the Home Office clarify responsibility for monitoring the implementation IPCC recommendations. Work is currently under way to put in place a suitable framework to achieve this.

The work of the IPCC is crucial to maintaining an effective and efficient police complaints system in England and Wales . The work of the IPCC is subject to detailed scrutiny in for example, criminal, coroners' and disciplinary proceedings. It has led directly to holding individual officers to account.

More widely, the IPCC also chairs a national Learning the Lessons committee with police stakeholders, ensuring that key lessons from investigations are identified and promulgated, leading to overall improvements in policing.

Tony Bennett

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