The Office of the Ombudsman represented at the Independent Police Complaints Authorities’ Network (IPCAN) conference

Dr Brian Said, Senior Investigating Officer at the Office of the Ombudsman, recently represented our office at the Independent Police Complaints Authorities’ Network (IPCAN) conference, held from 23 to 25 May 2023. The central theme was “Police activities in a context of violence and use of force”, an increasingly urgent topic in global law enforcement.

The conference was hosted by the Council of Europe and aimed at addressing Recommendation 2230 (2022), which concerns the fight and prevention of excessive and unjustified use of force by law enforcement officers. It provided a platform for police representatives, academics, and members of the European Council of Police Trade Unions (CESP) to engage in meaningful dialogues about the complexities of the police force.

A focal point was the practical implementation of human rights standards in policing, specifically emphasising non-excessive, justified, and proportionate use of force. Drawing from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) guidelines, IPCAN members provided insights on managing complaints related to the disproportionate use of force by police.

Preceding the conference, several IPCAN members convened to identify common issues related to policing. This culminated in a joint declaration by 16 members, containing 21 recommendations on managing public demonstrations and police operations, advocating for the necessary and proportionate use of force.

Read the Strasbourg IPCAN Declaration here

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