Angiolini Inquiry Report - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 7:53 pm ar 5 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:53, 5 Mawrth 2024

My Lords, it is important to say in response to the remarks and questions from the noble Lord, Lord Browne, that Lady Elish did not find any evidence of that particular name being applied to Couzens. That was explicit in the report. This is not the same as explaining away the accountability of the officers who were perhaps aware of his behaviour.

As the noble Lord will be aware, in January 2023 we launched a comprehensive review into police dismissals. As a consequence, we are making significant change to the way in which these dismissals are handled. We have made changes to the composition of misconduct panels by replacing legally qualified chairs with chief officers—something which chief officers have asked for—and this will be implemented in May 2024. We have streamlined the performance system to make it more efficient and effective; this is due to be implemented in late summer 2024. A new route to discharge officers who fail to maintain basic clearance is also due to be implemented in late summer. Changes to the misconduct system, including a presumption of dismissal for gross misconduct, a presumption of fast-track hearings for former officers and convictions for indictable offences automatically amounting to gross misconduct are also due to be implemented in the summer of 2024. The dismissals process has clearly been tightened up and will be tightened up further during the course of this year.

I cannot really comment on the pensions issue. I hear what the noble Lord has said, and I will make sure that the Home Office is well aware of his concerns.