HC Deb 30 July 1981 vol 9 cc463-4W
Mr. Edward Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the outcome of the discussion in the: Police Advisory Board for England and Wales on 15 July about the procedure for investigating complaints against the police.

Mr. Whitelaw

As I explained at the time of the publication on 18 March of the report of the Plowden working party, I intended, in the light of that report, and against the background of the general considerations mentioned in the Police Complaints Board's triennial review report, to examine further, in consultation with the Police Advisory Board, what changes, if any, might be necessary in the present arrangements. On 15 July the board, which includes representatives of the local authority associations as well as of the police representative bodies, considered two papers. The first dealt with the main recommendations of the triennial review report and the Plowden working party report, and the second dealt with a number of subsidiary complaints and police discipline matters, some of which had been put to the Police Advisory Board before. Having discussed the issues briefly, the board decided they would all benefit from a further study by a sub-group of the board under the chairmanship of my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State.

Accordingly, in consultation with the bodies represented on the board, I propose to set up a working group with terms of reference requiring it to consider the matters before the board on 15 July and report upon them to the board. I hope that this further period of study will help secure a greater measure of agreement amongst board members about the future development of complaints procedures. It remains my view that it is vital to maintain public confidence in the complaints system. Accordingly I look forward to the working group producing a report as soon as practicable.

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