Statements in response to evidence to Home Affairs Committee

Published: 18 Mar 2021

In an appearance before the Home Affairs Committee on police conduct and complaints on 17 March, Lady Brittan made several statements in relation to our investigation of the search warrant applications in relation to Operation Midland.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) would like at the outset to acknowledge the significant trauma and distress caused to Lady Brittan and others by false allegations made against them by Carl Beech (referred to in the accompanying documents as ‘Nick’) and the subsequent investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

We have been open and transparent about how our investigation was conducted, our findings and conclusions. These have been shared in our extensive Operation Kentia report. We have also shared the 16 learning recommendations which we made, and the actions that have been taken by the Metropolitan Police Service and other organisations as a result.

Our response to Lady Brittan’s claims has been published on the Home Affairs Committee website.

In relation to the experience of investigators, we have said:

A multi-disciplinary team worked on our investigation into the three MPS officers. This team included several investigative staff, supported by lawyers from our in-house legal team and staff with other areas of expertise. Final decision-making on investigations is always undertaken by a senior member of staff. In Operation Kentia, the decision-maker was experienced in criminal law, the application of PACE and had expertise in applying for and executing search warrants.

The work which led to the decision to discontinue the investigation into DAC Rodhouse and DSU McDonald was equally carried out by experienced investigative staff and was subject to review and final decision by an IPCC commissioner.

No serving police officer was involved in our investigation of this matter nor were any present when statements were taken. We value the skills and experience that former police staff bring to our organisation, and have in place appropriate checks and balances to ensure any conflicts are managed. More than three quarters of our staff overall and two thirds of our Operations staff do not come from a policing background. This is much higher than the other oversight bodies in the UK and Ireland. Staff are required to declare perceived or actual potential conflicts at the start of any investigation and subsequently throughout.

All of our investigators go through an accreditation process and we have appropriate safeguards to ensure that staff have relevant experience before leading an investigation. They are provided with regular supervision, and there are checks and balances on their work. We continually seek to improve our investigator training and are currently considering what elements can be aligned with the College of Policing Professionalising Investigation Programme (PIP2).

Other IOPC submissions can also be found on the Committee website: