HC Deb 18 March 1981 vol 1 c99W
Mr. Mates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to publish the report of the Plowden working party on the establishment of an independent element in the investigation of complaints against the police; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Whitelaw

The report is being published today. The working party's term of reference wereTo consider how the recommendation in the first triennial review report of the Police Complaints Board for an independent element in the investigation of serious complaints against the police might be implemented, and to make a report.

I am grateful to the chairman, Lord Plowden, and the other members of the working party for the care and thoroughness with which they have examined the difficult considerations involved, and for the speed with which they have produced an agreed report. In the light of their report, and against the background of the general considerations mentioned in the Police Complaints Board's triennial review report, I shall be considering further, in consultation with the Police Advisory Board, what changes, if any, may be necessary in the present arrangements. It is in my view important that all concerned should have in mind the need to maintain public confidence in the complaints system as an important aspect of the relations between the police and the public and the role it can play in striking the balance between the powers of the police and the rights of the individual. I should welcome comments on the working party's report, from Members of Parliament and others.