Harrow Council’s CEO Michael Lockwood has been confirmed as the first director general of the new Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Major reforms to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) – including its renaming as the IOPC – were announced by Prime Minister Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary. The IPCC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and sets the standards by which the police service should handle any complaints. Changes to the IPCC include a new governance model designed to improve efficiency.
The IOPC will have new powers, helping it to become more effective and decisive in addressing public concerns, allowing the organisation to initiate its own investigations without having to rely on a given police force to record and refer a particular case for investigation and also to determine appeals and recommend remedies.
Lockwood’s crown appointment means that he’ll serve as the single executive head of the organisation when the IPCC officially becomes the IOPC in January next year, in turn replacing the current commission. Ultimately, Lockwood will bear responsibility for all decisions made in the IOPC’s investigations and appeals, including the investigation of the most serious and sensitive allegations involving the police service.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, stated: “I’m delighted to announce Michael Lockwood as the first director general of the IOPC. His appointment is a key milestone in the reform of the IPCC, and will ensure clear accountability and oversight for the running of the organisation. We’re absolutely determined to make the police complaints and discipline systems simpler and more transparent for the benefit of the public, and the new, more efficient and effective IOPC will be a vital part of that.”
A Board appointed by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd – and that includes a majority of non-executive directors – will provide independent support and challenge to the director general as well as oversight of the overall running of the organisation.
Lockwood has a background in both the public and private sectors and has been Harrow Council’s CEO since 2015.
“It’s an honour to be appointed as the first director general for the IOPC,” said Lockwood. “This is an important time for the organisation as the IPCC transitions to the IOPC. I very much look forward to working with the dedicated staff there as we reshape the organisation to ensure the police disciplinary and complaints system is as effective and as clear as possible.”