Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Green Mayoral hopeful uncovers IPCC and UKBA inaction in public complaints

New figures obtained by the Green Party show that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) failed to investigate a single complaint about the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) brought to it by members of the public in 2009 [1] or referred to it by the UKBA itself

In 2010 Dr Shahrar Ali a candidate for the Green Party Mayoral selection, obtained the figures after he fell victim to police misconduct and is now calling upon the IPCC to urgently review its procedures.

Following the UKBA failure to properly investigate a complaint he made against an officer in 2010, and the subsequent failure of the IPCC to intervene, Dr Ali has uncovered a culture of systematic inaction in both policing organisations regarding allegations of serious misconduct against the UKBA. In 2009 the IPCC did not intervene in a single one of the four cases referred to it by the public. And in 2010, the IPCC failed to intervene in any of the 15 cases referred to it by the UKBA itself.

The UKBA has also answered FOI requests made by Dr Ali. In 2009, out of 113 serious misconduct complaints made by the public, only 6 were “substantiated” by them. [3] In 2010, out of 119 serious misconduct complaints made by the public, only 8 were “substantiated” by them.

Dr Shahrar Ali says: “After being first the victim of UKBA misconduct on my return from holiday last year, then facing the added injustice of inaction by both the UKBA and IPCC after filing official complaints, I sought to confirm my suspicion of institutionalised denial and inaction by both agencies. The results of my Freedom of Information request for two consecutive years bring shame upon both organisations.”

Dr Ali continued, “How can it be credible for an organisation such as the UKBA to find no case to answer in 95% of the 232 serious misconduct complaints made to it by members of the public? How can it be acceptable for the IPCC to find no cause to intervene in all 19 of the UKBA cases referred to it over the period 2009-10? The IPCC is clearly not fulfilling its constitutional duty to protect the public from serious misconduct in the hands of the police. This negatively impacts upon some of the most disadvantaged groups in our society, who are more likely to be unjustly stopped, and undermines the good work which many officers do.”

Dr Ali was apprehended by a UKBA officer whilst alighting from a Eurostar train at St Pancras International on 18 August 2010, falsely accused of evading his fare and threatened with indiscriminate police action if he complained. This story and the first round of FOI results are reported here: http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/discriminated_british_academic_hits_out_at_ipcc_1_767801?ot=archant.PrintFriendlyPageLayout.ot

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