Package of reforms includes the transfer of resources from individual forces’ PSDs to watchdog.
Resources from the professional standards departments of all forces across England and Wales will be transferred to the IPCC to ensure it has the â€œbudget and manpowerâ€ to do its work, the Home Secretary has announced.
In a statement to the House of Commons, Theresa May outlined a radical package of reforms focusing on police integrity, which includes a national register of officers who have been struck off the Police Service as well as the IPCC taking on the responsibility of dealing with all serious and sensitive allegations.
To equip the watchdog with the capacity to investigate the complaints itself, Mrs May said she would transfer some resources currently devoted to individual forcesâ€™ PSDs as well as other relevant areas to provide the IPCC with increased capacity in terms of manpower and budget.
She stressed that these proposals will need to be developed further and the agencies involved will look at whether the transfer of resources would relate to manpower or funds.
She has written to chief constables, police and crime commissioners, the IPCC and HMIC to ask for their views on the best way to transfer resources.
Last year the IPCC investigated 130 of 2,100 serous or sensitive cases that were referred to it independently, while supervising or managing another 200.
Mrs May said only 31 per cent of appeals against forcesâ€™ handling of complaints were successful; this, she said, â€œis simply not acceptableâ€.
She added: â€œPublic concern about the IPCC has been based on its powers and resources, and I want to address both issues.â€
The watchdog has already undergone extensive reform over the past year after it was granted the power to investigate historic cases in exceptional circumstances in response to concerns about large investigations such as Hillsborough.
In the same legislation under the Police (Complaints & Conduct) Bill the organisation was also given the power to compel police officers and staff to attend interviews as witnesses.
Responding to the reforms, IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers said she would be discussing the proposals as soon as they were developed.
She added: â€œThe IPCC plays a vital role in securing public confidence in the police complaints system and the integrity of the Police Service.â€
The proposed reforms are contrary to Lord John Stevensâ€™ view that the watchdog needs to be scrapped and replaced with a coherent framework of standards and accountability.
He maintained that simply reforming or strengthening the current system would not go far enough in ensuring there were strong safeguards for improving police standards.
Other reforms to ensure â€œthe highest standards of integrityâ€ in the Police Service include the creation of a national register which will document officers who have been struck off from the police. It will prevent officers who lose their jobs as a result of misconduct being recruited by other forces and will be managed and published by the College of Policing.
Disciplinary hearings against officers who resign or retire in a bid to avoid dismissal will carry on until their conclusion â€“ with anyone found guilty of misconduct added to the â€œstruck offâ€ list.
Home Secretary: Forces To Transfer Resources To IPCC