Chapter on Accountability and Governance: The Role of HMIC, and IPCC
The police in the UK are accountable to a number of different organisations [Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC ), the Home Office and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) along with individuals, namely the Home Secretary and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). They are also accountable to the Courts and to the public. This level of scrutiny appears proper for an organisation which enjoys the level of powers given to the police. There is a need for checks and balances in the system. However, many of the interviewees felt exercised by the way this scrutiny was applied. Some interviewees felt that while criticism of the police as an organisation is necessary in a democracy, it should not belie the quality of the individual police officer that provides the service; as CC10 remarked they ‘are the bedrock of the service to the Public and it is the supporting agencies and organisations that let the side down’.