Independent Office for Police Conduct
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), formerly known as Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and investigate the most serious incidents and complaints involving the police. The institution uses learning from its work to inﬂuence changes in policing. All its work is done independently of the police, government, complainants and
Police forces deal with the majority of complaints against police officers and police staﬀ. Police forces must refer the most serious cases to the IOPC – regardless of whether someone has made a complaint.
Specialist police forces such as the Ministry of Defence, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the British Transport Police, come under its jurisdiction.
The IOPC also oversees the complaints system for certain other organisations, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the National Crime Agency (NCA), and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA). It investigates certain serious complaints and conduct matters relating to staﬀ from these organisations.
The IOPC also investigates criminal allegations against police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and their deputies and contractors working for the police.
The IOPC is led by a Director General, Michael Lockwood. He is ultimately responsible for the work of the organisation and its decisions. Investigative decisions are delegated to six teams covering Wales and the regions. These are each led by a director. Other decisions are delegated to other parts of the organisation as appropriate.
Six non-executive directors form part of the Unitary Board. The responsibilities of the Board include ensuring that the organisation has appropriate arrangements for good governance and financial management in place, agreeing our strategic aims and values, and providing support to the Director General in carrying out his functions.
By law, the Director General can never have worked for the police. In addition, none of the executive team, Regional Directors or our Director for Wales have worked for the police.
You can read more about the IOPC’s structure and senior leaders on its website.
The IOPC is funded by grant in aid received from the Home Office. In 2018/19, we had net expenditure of £72.5 million.
Role and missions
The IOPC aims to promote confidence in the police complaints system firstly by demonstrating accountability when things have gone wrong, and secondly, by bringing about change by learning from complaints. It regularly makes learning recommendations to police forces that arise from investigations – and sometimes these recommendations are made nationally, to improve policing practice across England and Wales.
The Office also publishes a magazine for police forces called Learning the Lessons. Each issue targets a different topic (such as stop and search or protecting vulnerable people) and contains real life case studies that look at what went wrong and gets to the heart of the lessons that should be learnt to prevent them from happening again. It also includes questions for policy makers and managers, and police officers and staff. You can find current and previous issues of Learning the Lessons on IOPC’s website.
The Office is also focusing its work on thematic areas. These are topics that matter to the community and to policing bodies, and impact on public confidence in the police complaints system. These thematic areas include topics such as domestic abuse and mental health. More information about the thematic areas will be available on IOPC’s website as work progresses.
Investigations : For more information about our investigations, please visit our website.
Priorities and values : You can read about our priorities and values in our Annual Report on our website.
Forces recorded a total of 31,671 complaint cases in 2017/18 – a 7% drop from 2016/17.
The IOPC publishes annual statistics about complaints against the police, deaths during or following police contact, and public confidence in the police complaints system. For the latest statistics, please visit this page.