MPS anti-corruption team under investigation for malpractice
Eight officers and one member of police staff in the Metropolitan Police Service’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) are being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following claims of malpractice.
The IOPC inquiry, Operation Embley, is focusing on 21 allegations, which include influencing disciplinary investigations. All nine officers, who are between the ranks of chief inspector and chief superintendent, have been served notices that they are under investigation, although this does not mean disciplinary proceedings will follow.
None of the officers have been suspended – four remain within the DPS on restricted duties, one has retired and the other three are working in different departments, although not as a result of the investigation.
The allegations include interference in investigations to downgrade the severity of charges against an officer; failing to properly engage with evidence presented and abuse of process while conducting an investigation; and dropping an allegation of racist behaviour to protect the reputation of the MPS.
The claims were initially made by three ‘whistle blowers’ from the DPS last year and relate to more than 25 internal investigations. Thirty-eight allegations against 15 officers and one staff member were received but, following an extensive scoping exercise and review of evidence, both the number of allegations and officers involved have been reduced. The IOPC is also considering whether there are systemic issues within DPS processes.
IOPC Director Steve Noonan, said: “We have reviewed a great deal of material, which initially included over five million emails, along with statements given by the individuals concerned and are making good progress to concluding our investigation, with a number of final investigation reports currently being written. We are also considering the culture, disciplinary processes and systems used by the DPS, to identify any relevant learning that will help the MPS improve their handling of internal investigations, giving confidence to the public and serving officers and police staff.”