Misconduct hearing will hear of death of vulnerable woman following police custody

A 35 year old woman from Darwen, Lancashire, Kelly Hartigan-Burns, was found unresponsive in a cell at Greenbank Police Station in Blackburn at around 1.30am on 4th December 2016, having self-ligatured. She was taken to hospital and put on a life support system. She was pronounced dead the following day. Misconduct hearing set to openContinue reading “Misconduct hearing will hear of death of vulnerable woman following police custody”

Controversial watchdog report criticised from all quarters

A report released last week by one of the country’s two police ‘watchdogs’, extending to 127 pages, has drawn criticism from leading stakeholders, victims and their families, and leading police action lawyers, writes Neil Wilby. The Independent Office for Police Conduct has made seventeen recommendations to the College of Policing, the National Police Chiefs’ CouncilContinue reading “Controversial watchdog report criticised from all quarters”

Watchdog now employs over 1,000 staff but less than 25% ex-police

In a recent reply to a freedom of information request, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed some important information concerning its workforce. The total number of staff employed as at 31st March, 2021 was 1,013, a reduction of 19 from the previous year.. The total payroll cost was £53,950,000, an increase of £3,050,000 (6%) on theContinue reading “Watchdog now employs over 1,000 staff but less than 25% ex-police”

Council say ‘conflicted’ Director will not stand down from police investigation.

Following exclusive revelations on this website last week, regarding family connections from which conflicts of interest may arise, an Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council spokeswoman has said that Strategic Director, Communities and Reform, Rebekah Sutcliffe, will not be standing down from a controversial Greater Manchester Police investigation, codenamed Operation Hexagon. After details of the alleged conflictsContinue reading “Council say ‘conflicted’ Director will not stand down from police investigation.”

Police forces still unwilling to confront institutional racism

A police watchdog has reported, four decades after the introduction of stop and search, that ‘no force fully understands the impact’. Police in England and Wales are unable to explain why their powers are still used disproportionately, and in many cases unlawfully, on suspects from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Her Majesty’s InspectorateContinue reading “Police forces still unwilling to confront institutional racism”

Watchdog clears police over M62 shooting

An investigation by the police watchdog into the shooting of a 28 year old Huddersfield man, after a hard stop on the M62 slip road at Ainley Top in January, 2017, has decided that no West Yorkshire Police officer committed a criminal offence or breached professional standards (writes Neil Wilby).  Yassar Yaqub was a passenger in anContinue reading “Watchdog clears police over M62 shooting”

Inquest delayed over police anonymity arguments

Andrew Stephen Hall, a black man from Huddersfield, died in the town’s Royal Infirmary on 13th September, 2016. He was 43 years old and his admission to hospital followed an episode in West Yorkshire Police (WYP) custody at the local police station and an earlier visit to the Accident and Emergency Department (A & E)Continue reading “Inquest delayed over police anonymity arguments”

The two that got away?

In this, the first of a short series reviewing the past year, a second look is taken at two cases of miscreant police officers being shielded by senior management in their respective police forces. In August, a very powerful story was published on this website. The latest in a lengthy series of exclusives dating backContinue reading “The two that got away?”

Cover-up at all costs

There are many thousands of words written elsewhere on this website about the so-called ‘police watchdog’ in England and Wales, most recently here. Currently known as the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), having previously existed as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (2004-2018), the Police Complaints Authority (1985-2004) and the Police Complaints Board (1977-1985). EachContinue reading “Cover-up at all costs”

We investigated ourselves and found nothing wrong

During this course of this week, details have emerged of three more sub-optimal North Yorkshire Police investigations. These add to a shocking catalogue over the past 10 years or so (read more here). Not burglaries or car break-ins, but deaths in two different rivers in the county, 12 years apart. Denying closure for bereaved familiesContinue reading “We investigated ourselves and found nothing wrong”