ACPO lead on professional standards Chief Constable Michael Cunningham said:

"The Independent Police Complaints Commission has a pivotal role in our system of policing, where public trust is critical. Where things go wrong in policing it is vital they are investigated and lessons learned.

"The police service is keen to work with the IPCC to improve its response to police complaints and to carefully consider the recommendations made here. In particular we would like to see speedier outcomes rather than investigations dragging over long periods of time which do damage to trust and confidence. But it will also remain important not to lose advantages of the current system. For example, skills and experience are essential to delivering high quality investigations and the police service believes the IPCC should have access to the best possible pool of investigative talent, which will often mean those who have worked in the police service.

"Developing the role of the IPCC must also not mean that the service 'outsources' its own responsibility to manage complaints. Serious allegations of misconduct must be rigorously investigated, in many other less serious cases the police service itself is the body best placed to identify and put right mistakes, learn necessary lessons and rebuild public trust. The police service cannot continue to improve without feedback and we need the public to continue to come forward when they consider the service has fallen short."

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