Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), David West, believes the new amendments to legislation governing its operations will greatly assist the independent body with its investigations in 2021.
This, as it celebrates its 10th year of operation.
Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew, West says he expects all revisions to take place before April 2021.
He points out that amendments dealing with the investigators getting information from another body has been passed already, thus allowing them to benefit from broader evidence gathering capabilities. He also notes that recently assented to amendments mean PCA investigators now can be included as interested parties in Coroner’s Inquests.
“The other amendments are to be debated when Parliament reopens in January, so within the first quarter of next year, we should see these new amendments,” he said.
The PCA director believes the public trusts the PCA but admits that the lengthy investigative process poses a problem for some.
He also advocates strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of key crime fighting institutions, such as the Forensic Sciences Centre and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, through proper resourcing and funding.
And David West revealed that the PCA’s relationship with the Police Service and the Police Commissioner is a good one, noting that he meets regularly with the top cop on pertinent issues.
“The cooperation is going well. We all have a better understanding of what the PCA is about. I think the Commissioner is trying to let his officers know that the PCA is not there to be against them but to help them, and that being cleared by an independent institution is important. I think his officers are realising this,” he said.