In the last few days it has become clear that the public feel misled by the media statement made by the three police officers following their session with Andrew Mitchell. I think on this occasion we have to put the facts of the investigation and its findings to one side, and that with public feeling so strong the officers have to accept that their statement was at best an error of judgement, causing considerable loss in trust and confidence in the police. This is a matter of great regret and they should reflect upon this.
Since taking office I have met many, many police officers and I’ve found the vast majority to be dedicated and willing to go the extra mile.
I would like to stress my support of a well-resourced, independent and transparent system of dealing with complaints against the police, that is not seen to be the police investigating themselves, but the IPCC has not fulfilled this role on this occasion.
In particular I have found the behaviour of IPCC Deputy Chair Deborah Glass in the last week to be of huge concern – not taking responsibility for the investigation in the first place, having agreed the forces carry out the investigation – agreeing that this was carried out appropriately – then publicly questioning the integrity and judgement of senior officers.
She then went on to suggest senior officers interfered with the investigation. This appears to be a gross distortion of what actually took place.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the decision the officers who following a full and thorough process were not found to have engaged in misconduct, were then condemned in public by Deborah Glass with no opportunity for redress.
I look forward to the meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday, where the case will be examined properly on the basis of the facts and not conjecture.
My wish, as always, is to ensure the integrity, honesty and transparency of investigating the police and that due process is followed.