Ex-IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor responds to police investigation into allegations of evidence suppression
STATEMENT BY JENNIFER IZEKOR February 14th 2019
“What has happened to me as a Black Female Commissioner of the IPCC raises significant questions about the approach of the MPS DPS in dealing with allegations of discrimination and racism against their officers by members of the public. Given that this is the 20th anniversary of the MacPherson report, such questions need to be answered if there is to be robust police accountability that maintains the confidence of BME communities across London”
(Ex-Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission IPCC).
I am pleased to hear that the CPS has come to the only conclusion that they should have reached following their review of the Police Scotland file, given the facts.
I am also extremely disappointed, but not entirely surprised that Police Scotland, working on behalf of the MPS, has decided to continue pursuing another line of enquiry notwithstanding the CPS decision. This was a two-and-a-half year investigation entailing 700+ documents, costing the tax payer significant amounts. Despite this the police have failed to produce evidence to substantiate the allegations that I suppressed any evidence that could have exonerated these officers.
As an IPCC Commissioner I did not and have never had a role in handling or overseeing disclosure in police misconduct proceedings. Indeed, the Police Scotland Investigation has now revealed to me that full and complete disclosure of all relevant material was made to the MPS by the IPCC at least 5 months before the failed misconduct hearings against the officers took place.
It would appear that the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), having taken possession of the material, purportedly ‘forgot and misplaced the box’ and only re-discovered it after the hearing was stopped and the misconduct charges against the officers were dropped. This in my opinion raises serious questions about the role of officers within the DPS and the MPS in the botched hearing and indeed in the way the criminal complaint against me has been dealt with, given what the MPS knew of their own failings.
That the evidence and documentation in such a serious complaint by Mr McFoy was ‘misplaced and forgotten’ by the MPS DPS is serious enough. Even more questionable is the fact that the MPS has consistently chosen to remain silent about their inaction, despite the
serious allegations made by the officers in the media that I had deliberately withheld the evidence from the misconduct hearing. This was an allegation the MPS could not have believed to be true when the officers made their criminal complaint against me.
This entire process has left me shocked, disillusioned and gravely concerned for police accountability in race and discrimination cases involving the MPS. It also goes without saying that the damage to my reputation has been immeasurable. It appears that the allegation of bias on my part rests mainly on the fact that I share the same skin colour as Mr McFoy, as opposed to any evidence of my wrongdoing. I continue to stand by all my actions and decisions in Mr McFoy’s case. I do not understand why Police Scotland appear to have readily dismissed the very questionable actions of the MPS and continue to focus their scrutiny on me despite the overwhelming evidence about when, where and how the failings occurred.
It should not be lost on those following Mr McFoy’s 2011 complaint that the MPS, upon their own legal advice, independent of the IPCC investigation and having considered ALL of the evidence, settled Mr McFoy’s civil claim. In 2015 the MPS made a public apology to him, apologising for the actions of their officers and recognising that the incident should never have occurred.
What has happened to me as a Black Female Commissioner of the IPCC raises significant questions about the ongoing approach of the MPS DPS in dealing with allegations of discrimination and racism made against their officers by members of the public and indeed by BME officers in the MPS. I led investigations on many of these types of cases. Given that this is the 20th anniversary of the MacPherson report, such questions need to be answered if there is to be an assurance of robust police accountability that maintains the much-needed confidence of BME communities in policing across London.
Andre Clovis, Consultant at Tuckers Solicitors has commented on the case of Jennifer Izekor, “Sadly, this case highlights the harsh realities for people like Jennifer tasked with tackling and addressing police misconduct. As the Commissioner who led on many of the discrimination cases, it does appear Jennifer may have been targeted – this is certainly her honestly held belief. Those in the IOPC have had a warning fired across their bow, that if they investigate or seek to hold to account police officers against whom serious allegations of discrimination or racism are made, they too may be targeted.”