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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Police watchdog recruits staff
police on patrol
The new commission will look at serious allegations against police
The head of a new independent watchdog that will start looking into complaints against the police next year is already looking for experienced investigators.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will start work in April 2004, but has already started recruiting 150 independent investigators.

The Chairman of the IPCC, Nick Hardwick, said: "People do accept the current system doesn't work very well and is need of change.

"Under the current system if there is a complaint against the police, it will be investigated by the police themselves - by their senior officers.

Additional powers

Investigators will be based in Leicester, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newport.

police officer
Having an impartial independent system will be reassuring for both the police and the public
Nick Hardwick
Independent Police Complaints Commission

The new watchdog, established under the Police Reform Act 2002, will look at deaths in police custody, firearms incidents, allegations of brutality and other serious issues.

The new complaints system will replace the service currently managed by the Police Complaints Authority and will have additional powers.

"Sometimes there is a good reason for the way a police officer behaves, but they don't do a very good job of explaining why something has happened," Mr Hardwick said.

"Having an impartial independent system will be reassuring for both the police and the public."

The investigators must have experience of looking into cases involving police, fraud, insurance and customs and excise.

Excessive force complaints rise
02 May 03  |  Leicestershire
Police complaints report released
19 Dec 02  |  Scotland

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