Following the statement on the Home Officer response to the Operation Midland Rerport, Sir Mike Penning raises concerns that Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary and fire and rescue services does not have the powers to sanction police officers where malpractice is found to have taken place.
I was not only the policing Minister but the victims Minister, and I have real concerns following the two reports that victims need to be believed. We must make sure that the police work hard to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward. I am deeply concerned that Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary and fire and rescue services, which was created when I was the Minister, is perhaps not the right vehicle for such an inquiry, as it does not have the power to sanction police officers, although not necessarily to prosecute them. This report clearly shows that not only did police officers make mistakes but that there was malpractice, which is probably the best word.
My right hon. Friend is right about the limits on the powers of the chief inspector of constabulary. The organisation that has the required powers is the IOPC. The IOPC has produced this report, which we will consider carefully.
Once again, my right hon. Friend is correct that we all need to do our best to reassure victims that they will be taken seriously when they come forward. We are trying to make sure with inspection that the various steps, lessons and recommendations in these reports, not least the Henriques report, are being embedded in Met police practice so that we can promulgate them across the country.