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CS Gas at Peaceful Protest
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grufty jim
grufty jim
1946 posts

Edited Feb 10, 2011, 22:28
Re: CS Gas at Peaceful Protest
Feb 10, 2011, 22:24
keith a wrote:
It's certainly no poorer than Grufty replying to me on this occasion with a "Or maybe you could read the rest of the article to which that is the opening paragraph" put-down when I was questioning what someone had written in The Guardian (which, as it happens, is the newspaper I read)

You wrote:
keith a wrote:
"After 20 years working for a housing and social care agency in inner-city Birmingham, I joined the IPCC, as one of 18 new commissioners, with the aim of righting injustices. We claimed to be the most powerful civilian oversight body in the world, and we prepared to change the world. Five years on, I decided to leave. So what had gone wrong?"

I don't know. You were there for five years. You tell us.

When in fact, he did tell us. That's what the article was about.

Para 1: Only around 100 IPCC investigations, plus 150 police investigations "managed" by the IPCC, are undertaken each year, compared to 29,000 complaints.

If a person joins the IPCC believing that it's role is to investigate complaints, and yet the organisation only takes action on less than 1% of those complaints; then I suggest that person is justified in believing something is wrong.

The paragraph continues by suggesting that the criteria by which complaints are investigated are systematically flawed and that the idea "you have to be dead before the IPCC takes an interest in your case" is too near the truth.

Again, if someone inside the IPCC sees the organisation ignoring 99.2% of all complaints and only investigating the high profile ones that have media attention, then they are justified in thinking that something's wrong with the IPCC.

In the third paragraph, the writer highlights the limited successes that he had during his time there, but the rest of the article goes on to suggest systemic problems:

1. A tiny proportions of the complaints that were investigated got upheld.

2. Large regional variations in the upholding of complaints suggest inconsistent application of rules and procedures.

3. The inaccessibility of the IPCC to the public, despite it being accessible to the police (leading to a culture of bias and favouritism).

4. This inaccessibility is compounded by a lack of regional offices (the West Midlands has no IPCC office despite it being the 2nd largest force in the country)

5. A culture within the IPCC that views itself as part of the wider "family" of police agencies (again leading to inevitable cronyism and bias).

6. While commissioners must have no police background, many of the investigatory and management roles are filled by ex-police and customs officers, while two of the chief executives have come from the Home Office (which has a vested interest in portraying the police in a good light).

7. A culture of bureaucracy that appeared dedicated to impeding action rather than facilitating it.

8. A refusal to sanction internal scrutiny or criticism with policy and strategy rarely debated.

9. Because of this bureaucracy, more and more investigations are being passed directly back to the police themselves, and only 1% of such complaints are upheld (compared with the still paltry, but significantly higher 4 - 20% that are upheld when the IPCC investigates). This discrepancy suggests a further bias.

10. The IPCC costs millions of pounds of public money and yet the figures already quoted demonstrate that it is largely ineffective.

Now, you may claim that some of those points are false; for example that the internal bureaucracy of the IPCC is not, in fact, preventing adequate investigations of the police. Though, you'd have to provide at least some reason why your argument should be accepted above that of someone who has been a commissioner in the IPCC for half a decade.

I would suggest that taking those points at face value -- and lacking any coherent argument against them -- they are all valid reasons for suggesting that something has "gone wrong" at the IPCC. In other words, they provide clear answers to the rhetorical question asked at the beginning of the article and respond adequately to your "You tell us" demand.

So why are you surprised when I didn't think you'd read it? What is wrong with the responses he gave to his own question? Did you read it and simply not understand it, perhaps? Or do you not think those are adequate examples of an organisation that has "gone wrong"?
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