IOPC unable to confirm if it employs Post Office investigators

IOPC unable to confirm if it employs Post Office investigators

WATCH HERE: Payments to Post Office scandal victims have slowed down, says ex-postmaster

GB News
Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 20/02/2024

- 16:44

Updated: 20/02/2024

- 17:03

Police conduct office says it does not hold ‘reliable information’ about career history

The police watchdog is unable to confirm how many of its investigators previously worked at the Post Office in the same role during the Horizon scandal, GB News can reveal.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it did not “hold comprehensive or reliable information” about its investigators.

Responding to a freedom of information request, the IOPC said that it collected and published information about the policing background of employees, but it could not say how many of its staff had worked as investigators for the Post Office between 2000 and 2015.

During that period, at least 900 subpostmasters were subjected to bogus convictions of theft, fraud and false accounting due to dodgy data collected from Horizon software.

Post Office and Stephen Bradshaw

IOPC says it does not hold ‘reliable information’ about career history


Some 700 of these prosecutions were conducted by the Post Office, with support from its investigators.

At last month’s Post Office inquiry in central London, former investigator Stephen Bradshaw denied that he and colleagues behaved like “mafia gangsters” with subpostmasters.

Bradshaw denied using intimidation tactics or deliberately misleading subpostmasters.

More recently, Henry Staunton, the Post Office chair who was ousted after the scandal emerged, said that its investigators are known as “the untouchables” at the organisation.

Fujitsu office

Fujitsu has apologised to postmasters wrongfully convicted due to flaws in its Horizon IT software


A serving Met Police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told GB News that they feared those “untouchables” might now be pursuing cops.

“The IOPC doesn’t have many home-grown investigators, they’re reliant on recruiting investigators from other organisations.

“They keep track of the number of former police officers they employ because they think that number has a bearing on their independence and public confidence.”

They added: “But the IOPC apparently has taken no steps to identify whether it employs any of the people involved in perpetrating what the Criminal Cases Review Commission called ‘the most widespread miscarriage of justice’ it had ever seen, and that it ‘represents the biggest single series of wrongful convictions in British legal history’.”

Stephen Bradshaw speaking at last month\u2019s Post Office inquiry

Former investigator Stephen Bradshaw speaking at last month’s Post Office inquiry


They continued: “The fact that the IOPC has made no effort to ensure it does not employ any of them speaks volumes about its attitude and the importance it places on ensuring its staff are up to the job.”

The IOPC and its forebear the Independent Police Complaints Commission have faced public criticism in recent years for pursuing misconduct charges in controversial circumstances.

In 2017, an investigator was suspended amid “procedural shortfalls” in the pursuit of an officer it had accused of racism. The case collapsed when the commission offered no proof.

Last year, the watchdog withdrew gross misconduct proceedings it brought against an armed officer in 2021 after they crashed while racing to the scene of the Streatham terror attack.

A Met Police commander said the dropped proceedings, over two years after they were launched, were a “huge relief” for the officer and that it was “great news to receive.”

GB News has contacted the IOPC for comment.

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