INVESTIGATIONS by the Independent Office of Police Conduct need to be faster to avoid excessive pressure on officers, a force federation chairman has said.

Thames Valley Police Federation chairman Craig O’Leary has said the IOPC, formerly the IPCC, needs to clearly explain any delays to its work.

Currently, the IOPC is investigating two incidents in Oxfordshire.

Mr O’Leary said: “As someone who looks after officers who are under investigation by the IOPC I know the delays can be extremely frustrating.

“They need to come out and explain the reasons behind these delays clearly because once the IOPC are involved it ratchets up the stress levels a notch for everyone.”

Mr O’Leary said that, more recently, he had noticed some positive changes in the level of communication from the organisation.

He added: “I hope that continues and that the amount of time it takes to resolve cases comes down too.”

The IOPC is in its last year of expansion which has seen an increase in staff levels in a bid to increase the range and number of investigations it can carry out.

Chairwoman Dame Anne Owers said: “This is the third year of the ambitious expansion programme, during which we have doubled our staff numbers.

“However, there are challenges in such a swift expansion and we are examining and refining our internal processes.We are completing investigations more quickly than two years ago, and we know that we can improve still further.”

The IOPC has been investigating the death of Nuno Cardoso, who died while being driven to police custody in Abingdon in November, and a crash on the A4130, Crowmarsh Hill, in which two police officers were seriously injured in January. The investigation regarding Mr Cardoso is said to be making ‘good progress’, with the majority of witness inquiries complete. The IOPC has urged any other witnesses to make contact. Meanwhile, the investigation into the crash has seen one officer served a notice and informed the investigation will be looking at road traffic offences. This does not imply wrongdoing.