OPERATION EMBLEY: IOPC releases statement on 3-year probe into senior Met DPS officer conduct
THE Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into allegations individuals within the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) abused their position to affect ongoing investigations has found no case to answer and has led to changes in working practices.
The DPS is the internal MPS body responsible for investigating complaints against the conduct of its officers.
IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “This has been a very detailed and complex investigation which found the allegations were either not corroborated or were disproved by the evidence. We initially received a total of 38 allegations relating to 15 officers and one member of police staff. Following an extensive scoping exercise and review of the evidence, our investigation focused on 21 allegations involving eight officers and one member of police staff.
“Our investigation examined if there were systemic issues within processes, culture, leadership and internal communication within the DPS. We looked at why the allegations had been made, the context at the relevant time and the systemic issues that may be involved.
“We did establish that the Directorate’s working practices at the time leant themselves to the possibility of perceptions of prejudice through a lack of communication between officers and a lack of understanding of and adherence to misconduct regulations. Internal process changes in who should act as the Appropriate Authority for certain types of cases were not communicated well and brought about confusion to the wider team of officers.
“Since our investigation the DPS has changed its internal processes and now allocates an officer from a dedicated unit rather than from within the team to conduct an investigation and is also working to improve communication between officers.”
The allegations related to more than 25 internal investigations and including, claims of interference in investigations to downgrade the severity of charges laid against an officer; interference to assist an officer accused of wrong-doing ignoring, a potential conflict of interest, failing to properly engage with evidence presented and abuses of process while conducting an investigation into an allegation of racist behaviour being dropped in order to protect the reputation of MPS. An IOPC spokesman said: "The matter was referred to us in November 2017 and our investigation concluded in July 2020. We identified opportunities for some individual learning and are working with the MPS on learning within DPS."