THE police watchdog charged with investigating the Hillsborough cover-up moved to reassure families after it was slammed by MPs.
Dame Anne Owers, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), wrote personally to campaign groups ahead of today’s Parliamentary Home Affairs committee report.
That report said the IPCC was under- equipped and has a negative effect on public confidence in the police.
It raised particular concerns over the investigation of alleged serious corruption or misconduct.
In a letter to the families, seen by the Post, Dame Anne said the IPCC probe into the 1989 tragedy was “a separate matter”.
She added: “The Home Secretary has assured us we will have all the resources we seek and need for such a complex, large and important task – and we have also been given some of the additional powers we have been asking for for years.”
In its report, the cross-party committee, chaired by Keith Vaz MP, called for the IPCC to be renamed, change its approach to conducting investigations and work towards reducing the numbers of former police officers it employs.
Mr Vaz said: “When public trust in the police is tested by complaints of negligence, misconduct and corruption, a strong watchdog is vital to get to the truth, but the IPCC leaves the public frustrated and faithless.”
He added: “It is buried under the weight of poor police investigations and bound by its limited powers.”
In her letter, Dame Anne said the IPCC was working to ensure investigators came from a range of backgrounds.
She added: “Given the past history, it is very understandable that you and those you represent have little confidence in official bodies and investigations. We know that we need to prove to you that we are both robust and independent.”
Last month, it was revealed up to 100 people would be recruited as part of the IPCC’s Hillsborough inquiry, which could investigate as many as 2,400 officers linked to the disaster.