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New commissioner to check on Lancashire police complaints
THE Independent Police Complaints Commission has a new investigator dedicated to looking into complaints against Lancashire Police.
James Dipple-Johnstone has taken over as the North West IPCC commissioner and will concentrate his efforts on complaints made against officers in the county as well as holding the force to account.
The commissioner, who was appointed by the Home Secretary, is based at the IPCC office in Sale.
Mr Dipple-Johnstone, previously director of investigations at the Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said: “I am really excited to join the IPCC and to be able to build the public’s confidence in the complaints procedure.
“Looking at Lancashire’s complaints performance last year, the figures show the force is broadly average with 36 per cent of complaints upheld.
“There has been an issue in the past with the number of non-recording appeals – complaints to the police that have not been recorded as complaints but brought to the attention of IPCC and upheld – but that now seems to be improving.”
The four-year appointment of the commissioner comes at the same time critics have claimed the IPCC needs to be more impartial. Concerns have been raised over the number of ex-police officers being employed to investigate IPCC cases.
Mr Dipple-Johnstone is currently heading the investigation into allegations that police ‘Tasered’ a blind Chorley man after mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword.
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