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IPCC Article concerning fatal police shooting investigations
- AuthorKomal Hussain
The IPCC have published an article further to debates surrounding police use of firearms and the delays in investigations.
This week Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, in his call for greater public support of firearms officers, said that officers are increasingly being treated as suspects in investigations but the facts don’t support this.
Since 2010 the IPCC have completed 24 firearms investigations, eight of which were fatalities. In all but three of them, including six of the fatal shootings The IPCC states that no firearms officers were ever treated as a suspect but treated as witnesses..
Sir Bernard also complained about the lengthy time it takes to investigate shootings. Timeliness of investigations is something about which both the police and the public are rightly concerned. The IPCC state that they are often blamed for these delays however, state that much of these delays are when police witnesses do not cooperate fully and early. If those involved cooperate then the IPCC believes it can complete investigations more expeditiously.
The IPCC have proposed fresh guidance to get best evidence when someone dies or is seriously injured. This guidance aims to not treat police witnesses as suspects. It does aim to separate officers while they provide their first accounts, to prevent conferring and ensure that their accounts are not contaminated by other evidence. Doing it early ensures that the necessary evidence can be secured.
The IPCC have stated they will do their part to ensure that investigations are both robust and timely, and hope the proposed guidance will help ensure this will full cooperation from those involved.
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