An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.

The appropriate authority can be:

  • the chief officer of the police force
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
  • the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.

IPCC issues findings from further investigation into death of Maria Stubbings in Essex

May 20, 2013

Essex Police missed a large number of opportunities to proactively safeguard Maria Stubbings and her son, and failed to monitor the escalating risk or to detain Marc Chivers before her murder at his hands in December 2008, a further investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found.

Despite having accurately recognised the risks and dangers in July that year in responding effectively to an assault on Maria by Chivers, already a convicted murderer, Essex Police then failed  to undertake rigorous risk assessment and put safety measures in place on his release from prison two months before the murder.

The investigation has found a case to answer for misconduct against three police officers, but the failings of Essex Police at the time to protect Ms Stubbings and her son went far wider than the inaction of individual officers.

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “The actions taken by the officers in response to the assault in July demonstrate a sound understanding of domestic abuse and risk, and they were able to put in place a robust safety plan, even though there were no statutory restrictions or supervision of Chivers. The key issue is that the approach taken in July was not sustained; there was no continuity or consideration of ongoing risk.

“It is ironic that Ms Stubbings was offered the most support and protection while Chivers was in prison, when the risk from him was minimal. When he was released both she and her son were left completely vulnerable. All the risks that were there when Ms Stubbings called the police in July still existed after his release; indeed arguably the risk was even higher, as Chivers had just served several months in prison as a result of her complaint. Ms Stubbings was then murdered by Chivers and her son has endured profound and ongoing trauma as a result of his mother’s brutal death.

“Essex Police have made improvements in domestic abuse policies and procedures since 2008.  It is also true that Chivers’ previous murder conviction outside the UK reduced the powers available to the police. However, in 2008 there were domestic abuse policies and procedures in place and specialist units. Knowing of Ms Stubbings’ vulnerability and the potentially serious risk posed by Chivers, Essex Police should have been far more proactive in order to try and ensure that Ms Stubbings was protected and her murder prevented.”

An opportunity for Essex Police to become aware of renewed contact between Ms Stubbings and Chivers was missed when a telephone call from a friend in early December attempting to report concern for Maria’s welfare was poorly dealt with.

The IPCC completed a first independent investigation into the death of Maria Stubbings in 2010 following a referral from Essex Police. Due to inaccuracies by the IPCC in the resulting report which subsequently came to light, IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne decided that there should be a second independent investigation. In addition, Ms Stubbings’ family considered that the scope of the original investigation had been inadequate, and it was decided to significantly increase the scope of the second to include the way the police dealt with Ms Stubbings’ report of Chivers’ assault in July 2008, and the actions they took while he was in prison and upon his release.

As a result of the second investigation the IPCC has made a number of recommendations to Essex Police who need to ensure that:

• all officers dealing with domestic abuse incidents are aware of the need to consider the physical and emotional wellbeing of any children associated with the household;

• officers dealing with crimes complete thorough intelligence checks to ensure that suspects are traced expeditiously, and there are now processes in place to deal with individuals who are considered potentially dangerous;

• officers and force information room staff are fully aware of the need to deal with reports of domestic abuse promptly and to take positive action in respect of named suspects;

• its recent improvements in the area of domestic abuse have been fully understood by all officers and that front line officers have received appropriate training.

The IPCC has shared its investigation report with Ms Stubbings’ family and Essex Police.  Both IPCC Chair, Dame Anne Owers, and Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne have met the family to discuss their concerns and express regret about the shortcomings of the first IPCC investigation

Notes to Editors

1. In December 2008, Maria Stubbings was murdered by Marc Chivers, a man with whom she had been in a brief relationship with earlier in the year. In January 2008 Marc Chivers had been released from prison in Germany having completed a sentence for the murder of a girlfriend and following his release, he travelled to England. He was not placed under any restrictions on his arrival in the UK.

2. At the time of her murder, Ms Stubbings was living in Chelmsford with her 15 year old son. Ms Stubbings first made contact with Essex Police in relation to Marc Chivers in April 2008, regarding a potential theft and on 16 July 2008 Ms Stubbings reported to Essex Police that she had been assaulted by Chivers. He appeared in court and was remanded in custody. He eventually pleaded guilty to common assault and was released on 13 October 2008. On 11 December 2008 Ms Stubbings reported to Essex Police that Chivers had burgled her home, taking her medication.

3. Over the next few days there was some police contact with Ms Stubbings and on 19 December, police visited her home and found her body. Chivers was in the home at the time, and was subsequently convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at Chelmsford Crown Court on 14 December 2009.

4. On 7 December 2010 the IPCC published its findings from its first investigation into contact between Essex Police and Maria Stubbings prior to her murder.

5. The IPCC’s full investigation report from the second investigation can be found in the publications section of the website.

 
 
An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.

The appropriate authority can be:

  • the chief officer of the police force
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
  • the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
  • the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.

Investigations:

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