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‘Unacceptable’ for racial profiling probe to take a potential six months

PUBLISHED: 05:30 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:53 17 August 2020

A still from the video filmed on the driveway in Ipswich, where two police officers stopped a black couple  Picture: PA

A still from the video filmed on the driveway in Ipswich, where two police officers stopped a black couple Picture: PA

Archant

An investigation into a complaint of police harassment and racial profiling could take up to six months to complete.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner has questioned why the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation may require half a year.

Tim Passmore said he was initially told the inquiry would take two to three months, but the IOPC argued its position had been the same from the outset.

Mr Passmore said it would be “unacceptable and inappropriate” for the result to go unpublished until the end of the year.

The IOPC launched its investigation following an incident involving two Suffolk police officers and a black couple in Ipswich on June 9.

The next day, Suffolk police received a complaint from the man who had been stopped.

A video showing part of the interaction viewed millions of times online – showed an officer asking the man for identification and proof of residency after he stepped from his car onto a driveway.

The video was referred to the force’s professional standards department, which referred the matter to the IOPC on June 19.

The investigation will focus on the officers’ actions and whether or not they treated Ingrid Antoine-Oniyoke and Falil Oniyoke differently because of their race.

Mr Passmore told last week’s meeting of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality’s Stop and Search Reference Group: “The IOPC told me the investigation would take two or three months. We’re now told it could take up to six. It’s unacceptable and inappropriate.

“We really need to get on with this so that we can have a proper discussion.

“I don’t know why the IOPC has to take so long. It’s very counter-productive.”

An IOPC spokesman responded by saying it had advised Suffolk police the investigation had a timeframe of three to six months from the outset, adding: “While we strive to complete investigations in a timely manner, some matters are beyond our control.

“Our investigations can be completed more quickly when we receive what we need from third parties in a timely manner.

“Currently we are awaiting accounts from the officers involved in the incident. Once we have those accounts we can undertake the further enquiries necessary.”


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