IPCC may carry out more spot checks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 April, 2009, 12:00am

The head of a fledgling police watchdog has urged more spot checks into how police investigate complaints against them, suggesting police record all interviews when investigating complaints.

The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) will become a statutory body in June if the legislature approves the ordinance commencement notice next month.

Its launch and financial arrangements were discussed in a Legislative Council subcommittee meeting yesterday.

IPCC chairman Jat Sew-tong yesterday suggested the police force's Complaints Against Police Office (Capo) record all its interviews with complainants, so that IPCC observers could review them at any time.

Currently, Capo issues a list of interviews usually 48 hours before they are conducted at various police stations. But concerns have been raised that police officers are sometimes tipped off before observers arrive.

To give observers more time to prepare, Mr Jat suggested Capo extend the notice from 48 to 72 hours, and record the conversations.

'All the interviews could be recorded ... so that IPCC can conduct spot checks more effectively,' Mr Jat said.

Under the IPCC scheme, observers will be able to attend interviews and watch the evidence-collection process. Volunteer observers are listed as on duty over a certain period - for example two weeks - but they are not committed to go to any particular interview.

Mr Jat yesterday suggested observers be committed to work on fixed dates, so that they can watch any interview at any police station during that day.

The IPCC has also appointed a private opinion polling centre to conduct a poll on public understanding and expectations of the IPCC.