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New inspectorate for service police.

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
From today's telegraph.


New military police watchdog will enable families to complain about handling of cases​


The new Service Police Complaints Commissioner will mirror the arrangements used in the civilian justice system


By Dominic Nicholls, Defence and Security Correspondent 24 January 2021 • 6:30am

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer.

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

The military is to get its own police watchdog, the veterans minister has announced, in a move that will enable families to complain about the handling of cases.
The Armed Forces Bill, due to be presented to Parliament shortly, will implement the recommendations of the recent Service Justice System review to allow complaints about service policing, including by families, to be handled independently.
Johnny Mercer, the Veterans Minister, says the new Service Police Complaints Commissioner will mirror the arrangements used in the civilian system’s Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure any complaints about service policing are handled independently.
Writing exclusively for the Sunday Telegraph the former soldier says: “In the past 12 months we’ve been reminded of the immense debt of gratitude we owe to our brave men and women.
“They’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our heroic NHS doctors and nurses on the frontline of the fight against the virus.
“All the while, they’ve continued tirelessly guarding our seas, our skies and our borders and protecting our interests across the globe. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
“A decade ago our country promised to have their backs. Our Armed Forces Bill, come what may, we will deliver on that promise.”
The new Service Police Complaints Commissioner will be able to investigate alleged shortcomings in any of the military police forces.
It will allow complaints to be made by serving personnel, veterans and civilians.
The creation of the new office will for the first time provide a formal body with powers to question the conduct of military investigations.
Campaigners, including some of the families of soldiers killed whilst under training at Deepcut Barracks, have for years called for public inquiries into the deaths of their loved ones, in the absence of such a commissioner.
An MoD spokesperson said the post would be “a special appointment and a similar role to the Director General of oversight in the Civilian police”.
The provision of the Service Police Complaints Commissioner will be contained in legislation due to be laid before Parliament soon.
The Armed Forces Act is required to be renewed every five years. The 2016 Act was extended but has to be enacted by the end of this year.
The Act provides the legal basis for the armed forces and the system of military law which exists in the UK. It sets out nearly all the provisions for the system of service law that applies to military personnel of all three services wherever they are operating around the world.
This year’s Bill will also ensure due regard is given to the armed forces covenant by public authorities in the areas most likely to affect serving and former personnel and their families, such as healthcare, housing and education.
More than 6,000 organisations across the public and private sectors have signed the covenant.
The 2021 Armed Forces Act will see the military covenant enacted across all four nations in the UK.
Johnny Mercer said: “At present, the Covenant is a voluntary, non-legislative commitment but the Government’s 2019 manifesto set our ambition to enshrine the Covenant properly in law so it can be a genuinely effective tool benefitting everybody right across the United Kingdom”.

COMMENT by JOHNNY MERCER MP, VETERANS MINISTER
2021 marks a major milestone as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Armed Forces Covenant.
That historic agreement gave formal expression, for the first time, to society’s moral obligation to ensure our brave men and women suffer no disadvantage as a result of their service.
Since then more than 6,000 organisations from the north east to the south west, from the public and private sector alike, have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and made a commitment to our service people and veterans.
Last year alone some 1,500 organisations came on board including the London Fire Brigade, Leicester Tigers Rugby Club and Yorkshire Water. There’s little doubt that our Covenant supporters have made a massive impact.
Thanks to them veterans have found work, reservists have got the time off needed to deploy, and military spouses have received help to further their careers. 79,000 service children now benefit from £24.5million of pupil support. 22,200 service personnel have been helped on to the housing ladder by Forces Help to Buy and 800 GP practices in England are accredited as ‘veteran friendly’.
Despite the pandemic, last year we provided cash boosts for family accommodation, introduced free breakfasts and after school clubs for military children, enhanced employment opportunities for veterans with our guaranteed interview scheme and provided millions of pounds to service charities.
There’s no question that our Armed Forces Covenant is a great thing.
But, as Veterans Minister, I know that the experience you get is too often dependent on where you live. So it’s vital the Covenant is enacted in the right way.
It cannot be a postcode lottery. If you’ve served your country we must do right by you, wherever you are.
At present, the Covenant is a voluntary, non-legislative commitment but the Government’s 2019 manifesto set our ambition to enshrine the Covenant properly in law so it can be a genuinely effective tool benefitting everybody right across the United Kingdom.
To make good on that commitment, the Armed Forces Bill aims to ensure due regard is given to the Armed Forces Covenant by public authorities in the areas most likely to affect serving and former personnel and their families – healthcare, housing and education.
The Bill does not stop with the Covenant, we will also be building on our progress to implement the recommendations from the recent review into the Service Justice System (the military law enforcement system that runs parallel to the Criminal Justice System).
We are committed to achieving justice for our people wherever in the world they serve and want to create a more effective, efficient and better service for those who use it.
The main way we are doing this in the Bill is by creating an organisation to provide independent oversight.
The Service Police Complaints Commissioner will mirror the arrangements used in the civilian system’s Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure any complaints about service policing are handled independently.
In the past 12 months we’ve been reminded of the immense debt of gratitude we owe to our brave men and women.
They’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our heroic NHS doctors and nurses on the frontline of the fight against the virus.
All the while, they’ve continued tirelessly guarding our seas, our skies and our borders and protecting our interests across the globe. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
A decade ago our country promised to have their backs.
Our Armed Forces Bill, come what may, we will deliver on that promise.
 
A welcome development, as it will allow a bespoke response rather than the one size fits all service complaints system.

It will also allow a line to be drawn unde the issues and hopefully give some closure for families who have been let down. It will also prevent these ‘human rights’ lawyers who have made a living off grieving families.

I do find it ironic that Johnny Mercer is championing it, considering he is also campaigning to introduce a statute of limitations for offences committed on operations, making us *less* accountable.
 
The monkeys won’t like being policed, they don’t understand the concept.
 

crow_bag

War Hero
What was the process before this? If the monkies cocked something up was the only option a service complaint that would most likely get chinned off?
 
A welcome development, as it will allow a bespoke response rather than the one size fits all service complaints system.

It will also allow a line to be drawn unde the issues and hopefully give some closure for families who have been let down. It will also prevent these ‘human rights’ lawyers who have made a living off grieving families.

I suspect, like all the other avenues of complaints, accommodation, food, normal service complaints, that it wont be as useful as people might think it will be.
 
What was the process before this? If the monkies cocked something up was the only option a service complaint that would most likely get chinned off?
Service complaint, relevant bits referred to RMP Professional Standards.
 
I suspect, like all the other avenues of complaints, accommodation, food, normal service complaints, that it wont be as useful as people might think it will be.
True...
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
The interesting bit will be who is appointed. In theory, noone with military connections, but in practice?
 
What do the monkey's do these days seeing as gheyness is now virtually mandatory?
 

shamrock

Old-Salt
will mirror the arrangements used in the civilian system’s Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure any complaints about service policing are handled independently.
Mercer obviously has no idea about the IOPC. If the new group is to mirror the IOPC, then anyone making a complaint is literally wasting their time.
 

Yokel

LE
From here:

Maintaining the effectiveness of the Service Justice System

The Bill will also help deliver a series of improvements to the Service Justice System, ensuring personnel have a clear, fair and effective route to justice wherever they are operating. These include:

  • providing clearer guidance for prosecutors on how serious crimes committed by service personnel in the UK should be handled, placing a Duty on the Director of Service Prosecutions and the Director of Public Prosecutions to agree a protocol where there is concurrent jurisdiction to provide clearer guidance to assist those independent decisions
  • creating an independent body to oversee complaints, overseen by a Service Police Complaints Commissioner who will ensure there is an independent line of redress if someone is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint
  • making the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private sector.
Will the Service Police start obeying PACE?
 
From here:

Maintaining the effectiveness of the Service Justice System

The Bill will also help deliver a series of improvements to the Service Justice System, ensuring personnel have a clear, fair and effective route to justice wherever they are operating. These include:

  • providing clearer guidance for prosecutors on how serious crimes committed by service personnel in the UK should be handled, placing a Duty on the Director of Service Prosecutions and the Director of Public Prosecutions to agree a protocol where there is concurrent jurisdiction to provide clearer guidance to assist those independent decisions
  • creating an independent body to oversee complaints, overseen by a Service Police Complaints Commissioner who will ensure there is an independent line of redress if someone is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint
  • making the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private sector.
Will the Service Police start obeying PACE?

Do you mean The Service Police Codes of Practice?
 
I just wonder if they'll be referred to as "Monkey Kings?"
 
From here:

Maintaining the effectiveness of the Service Justice System

The Bill will also help deliver a series of improvements to the Service Justice System, ensuring personnel have a clear, fair and effective route to justice wherever they are operating. These include:

  • providing clearer guidance for prosecutors on how serious crimes committed by service personnel in the UK should be handled, placing a Duty on the Director of Service Prosecutions and the Director of Public Prosecutions to agree a protocol where there is concurrent jurisdiction to provide clearer guidance to assist those independent decisions
  • creating an independent body to oversee complaints, overseen by a Service Police Complaints Commissioner who will ensure there is an independent line of redress if someone is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint
  • making the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private

  • sector.
Will the Service Police start obeying PACE?

What examples of breaches do you have?
 
Better late than never, IMO. For the main topic, that is. Won‘t help those who still seek justice for cases closed (unless I missed that bit).
This is just a layer added to prolong the life of the Service Police.
 

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