“The IPCC believes that it is essential for families to play a full part in any process which establishes how and in what circumstances their family member died.
“Our principal statutory duty is to secure and maintain confidence in the police complaints system and one way in which this can be achieved is by ensuring that there is proper public scrutiny when someone dies at the hands of the state.
“We are therefore extremely frustrated when anyone or anything attempts to get in the way of our ability to provide family members with information about an investigation into a death at the hands of the police or to ensure a full public examination of the facts surrounding the death.
“As a general rule we seek to find ways round any such obstacles. However, in some circumstances our hands are tied by the law. One such provision is s.17 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The impact of this is that not only can some information not be disclosed, we cannot even explain why we cannot disclose the information, as this itself would be a breach of the law.
“In our view this places investigatory bodies in the invidious position of being unable to provide families, and the public, with meaningful information on the investigation or even explain why that information cannot be provided. We believe this law needs to be changed.”
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