Mitchell police face new probe

Officers accused of giving misleading accounts of a meeting with Andrew Mitchell are facing a new investigation by the IPCC, and are to be brought back before a committee to apologise to MPs.

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Tory MP: IPCC report in Mitchell meeting is 'fierce'

Former shadow home secretary David Davis has said the Independent Police Complaints Commission report on an investigation into a police meeting with former chief whip Andrew Mitchell is "fierce".

He told ITV News: This is an astonishing report. In 25 years in Parliament I've not seen quite as fierce as this and for good reason.

"Policemen must be honest and truthful whenever they're doing their job...they plainly weren't here either when dealing with Andrew Mitchell or when dealing with the select committee [Home Affairs].

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Original Mitchell police probe decision 'worrying'

Former shadow home secretary David Davis said it was "worrying" that the decision to clear of gross misconduct the police officers involved in the 'plebgate' row had to be overturned by the IPCC.

He told Murnaghan on Sky News:

This is really worrying because it's not just about the issue of three policemen. It's about whether or not this sort of behaviour is seen as acceptable by the entire system and it looks as though, with these three forces, they thought it was acceptable. And frankly that's not just good enough for the British public.

– David Davis

West Midlands Police on new IPCC Mitchell inquiry

The IPCC have now decided they do, after all, have the authority to launch a new inquiry. As I made clear at the very beginning of this process this investigation should always have been run by the IPCC.

The report suggests West Midlands Police put pressure on West Mercia Police to release the report before it was sent to the IPCC.

The conclusions of the report suggest the motive may have been because ACC Cann may have been seeking to improperly access the report and seek to change its conclusions. This is a serious inference to draw and I completely refute it.

– West Midlands Chief Constable Chris Sims

West Mercia Police 'accepts there were procedural errors'

West Mercia Police has accepted that there were "procedural errors" following a meeting between three Police Federation officers and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell.

While the quality of the original investigation by West Mercia into the conduct of Police Federation representatives on 12 October 2012 remains unquestioned, the force accepts there were procedural errors in the investigative reports provided to the appropriate authorities which they used to make their determinations about the officers’ conduct.

These procedural errors began with a misunderstanding between the IPCC supervising the investigation, and West Mercia Police investigators.

West Mercia has always maintained that the investigation into the events in Sutton Coldfield in October 2012 should have been conducted independently.

The force therefore welcomes the IPCC’s decision to change the status of the investigation from an IPCC supervised investigation to an independent investigation using their own staff.The force will co-operate fully with the IPCC’s investigation.

– West Mercia Police statement

Commissioner's concerns about fresh Mitchell probe

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire has given his reaction to the IPCC's decision to conduct a fresh inquiry into a meeting between Police Federation officers and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell.

I have never supported the actions of the officers following their meeting with Andrew Mitchell at his constituency office. They were unwise to get involved in such a political campaign and they have subsequently brought discredit on the Police service and damaged public confidence in the integrity of the Police. I believe that the officers should have apologised to Mr Mitchell and his family for the hurt their actions caused._

In my role of holding the Chief Constable to account and scrutinising his actions I have taken independent legal advice concerning the IPCC’s decision to reopen the investigation. This advice raises concerns in my mind that the legal grounds for the proposed investigation may not be legally sound, with the potential for further legal challenges to follow. All of this can only result in additional public expense._

– Ron Ball, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire

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Police Fed officers defended their actions to MPs

Three officers accused of giving misleading accounts of a meeting with Andrew Mitchell are facing a new investigation by the IPCC.

Last month, Police Federation representatives Inspector Ken MacKaill, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton and Sergeant Chris Jones defended their actions to MPs.

The three Police Federation officers in question appear before MPs.

They apologised only for their haste in speaking to the media straight after the meeting in October last year.

Det Sgt Hinton and Sgt Jones have been called to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee for a second time on Tuesday.

Mitchell police narrative 'could rival fiction'

Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has said the narrative of a meeting between Andrew Mitchell and police officers "could rival any great work of fiction".

The IPCC is to open a new investigation into the behaviour of police officers who met with Mitchell, the former chief whip, after an alleged confrontation in Downing Street.

Mr Vaz said recent findings that the officers misled MPs point to "a lack of openness and transparency with a committee of the house".

"At every point, and at every level, the process seems to have obstructed the truth, rather than provided a transparent approach to the problems that occurred as a result of the meeting."

"And that is why we regard it as being very serious indeed."

Mr Vaz said he is delighted" that the IPCC has accepted the recommendation of the committee to reassess the cases.

Mitchell report contained 'procedural irregularities'

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has said there were "procedural irregularities" in how a final report on police conversations with former chief whip Andrew Mitchell was drawn up.

The IPCC will hold its own investigation into the behaviour of police who met with former chief whip Andrew Mitchell. Credit: PA

In the final version of the report, no case to answer for misconduct was made out against any of the three officers under investigation.

But IPCC deputy chairperson Deborah Glass said Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams, who led the report, mistakenly believed it should reflect the view of the "appropriate authorities" - the senior officers in each of the forces involved.

"It is clear from CI Reakes-Williams's evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee that this conclusion did not reflect his opinion."

"The 'appropriate authorities' are the final decision-making bodies, and they are entitled to reach a different decision to the conclusions of the investigator. However, this is an entirely separate process. The procedure described above has conflated the two."

Ms Glass said that while she considered the investigation incomplete she does not have the power to re-start it, and so the IPCC will launch its own inquiry to avoid damaging public confidence.

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